Expat Protection Centre ‘dealt with over 25,000 cases since inception’
The Expat Protection Centre and Shelter of the LMRA has dealt with over 25,000 cases since its inception, according to officials. The LMRA has been vital in the regulation of the workforce. Its important role has seen it help thousands of expatriates over the years since its inception in 2006.
In 2015, it launched Expat Protection Centre and Shelter which was designed to help expats in need. Bahrain’s dedication to the preservation and protection of the rights of all who work and live in the country led to the establishment of the Expat Protection Centre.
In line with its 2030 Vision to cull the crime of trafficking in persons, a cross-border crime, the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) has spearheaded the administration of the protective services offered to migrants in Bahrain based on the fact that all declared victims of trafficking have been migrant workers.
According to officials, a large number of the 25,000 cases was out of labour issues. Officials said that most cases involved workers from Asian nationalities. “Most cases were filed by Asian nationalities, this is understandable due to the large number of Asians living in the Kingdom who are part of the workforce.”
However, cases involving African nationalities have proven tricky due to some of the African countries not having embassies in the Kingdom, the officials added. The Expat Protection Centre (EPC) was set up to identify, support, and follow up the cases of victims of trafficking in the Kingdom.
It is a collaborative framework through which stakeholders fulfil their obligations to protect, recover, and promote the human rights of the trafficked -or vulnerable- person in a timely manner co-ordinating all the efforts in a strategic national partnership. The centre provides complete services to victims or potential victims from the instance they approach it.
It also offers medical services, mental health services (in co-operation with social researchers), legal counselling (providing legal advice to the resident, introducing him to his rights and methods of obtaining them, assisting him in reaching a settlement, or initiating legal proceedings in courts). In 2017, the “NIHR” opened an official branch at the “Expat Protection Centre and Shelter”.