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Corruption of the Al-Khalifa regime deprives Bahrainis of job opportunities and a decent life

The corruption of the Al-Khalifa regime deprives Bahraini citizens of job opportunities and a decent life at a time when foreigners are given preference in government and private job opportunities.

The Al-Khalifa regime is promoting economic recovery projects. Yet, at the same time, the voices of young men and women in Bahrain are rising, complaining of unemployment and lack of employment opportunities. So why are the country’s youth absent from new jobs, despite the government’s repeated announcements of projects and attracting direct investments?

The basis of what is happening now, the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, has been talked about for years, but no one has paid any attention to it.

The beginning dates back to 2010, when the Government of Bahrain signed with the International Labor Organization, along with the Federation of Workers and the Chamber of Commerce, the “Decent Work Programme”, which undoubtedly would have guaranteed fair wages and a decent life for all workers in all sectors.

One of the goals of this program was to make the Bahraini the preferred choice, which was indeed possible at the time, but the government evaded its application.

Following the insurance funds crisis in 2020, the federation presented in August 2020 its written vision to the government to reform the labor market and sustain social insurance funds.

The vision depends on providing 40,000 value-added jobs in which the wage exceeds 700 dinars from the currently vacant jobs, and it is possible to replace qualified Bahraini youth in them without cost gradually.

With the unemployment crisis exacerbating dramatically, the Federation of Trade Unions prepared an integrated file that includes the names of 15,000 unemployed people registered in the National Unemployment Registration Program in November 2020.

So what happened then? The government replaced the “decent work program” that favours Bahrainis with a program that favours foreigners, which was implemented through multiple programs such as flexible work permits and granting visas of various types to make the recruitment of foreign workers easy and has multiple exits.

This recently contributed to a wave of African visitors who were deceived and brought to Bahrain after taking money from them because they would easily find work.

And when they collided with reality, “some of them” resorted to crime, and an elderly Bahraini working as a taxi driver was almost killed by some of them recently after he was subjected to theft under duress.

The government has introduced an official program called “Parallel Bahrainization”, and its stated goal is to provide an opportunity for companies not to adhere to the percentage of Bahrainization in jobs by paying any merchant or institution an amount of 500 dinars to the government exchange for exemption from the Bahrainization condition, and merchants welcomed that.

According to official figures, the government stated that 48,000 foreigners benefited from this system and were employed in exchange for Bahrainis, which means blocking 48,000 opportunities for young men and women in Bahrain and granting them to foreigners.

The government has recently resorted to programs such as the “Sijilat Program” of the Ministry of Commerce to legalize illegal foreign labour and collect financial fees from foreign workers. In short: the government does everything that is the opposite of Bahrainisation.

The crown jewel in the government’s work to strike Bahrainization was the “optional retirement” program, which was an essential prelude to the success of the government’s real project, which is the replacement program for foreigners. But unfortunately, 9 thousand Bahraini employees applied for the voluntary retirement project.

Months ago, Bahraini activists and tweeters launched a protest campaign on social media against the escalating unemployment rates in the country in light of the corruption and failure of the ruling regime.

The campaign under the hashtag #BeFair to the Unemployed in Bahrain highlighted the suffering of Bahraini youth from unemployment and the lack of job opportunities in light of the stifling economic recession that the country is suffering from.

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