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Bahraini regime rejects a law to nationalize jobs amid rising unemployment

The Al-Khalifa regime in Bahrain rejected a parliamentary law to localize jobs despite the country’s rising unemployment rate.

The Bahraini government rejected a law to employ Bahraini citizens in all government agencies, companies owned by the state, and companies in which it contributes a share of its capital, attributing this to the fact that the project’s purpose by law is already available.

In its response to the law, the government said that the Civil Service Law stipulates that the conditions for employment are that employees have Bahraini nationality and fulfil the conditions for the job.

The law excluded the permissibility of occupying the position for non-Bahrainis by contracting if Bahraini candidates could not be found. This is for a maximum period of two years, subject to renewal.

The state-owned companies, wholly or partially, and oil companies are not subject to civil service legislation and regulations. However, they adhere to the laws and decisions issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development because they have a legal nature independent of the state, have their internal systems, and are managed by their boards of directors.

The draft law violates Bahrain’s international obligations and commitments regarding discrimination in employment and profession and its conflict with the Labor Law about companies owned by the government or in which it contributes more than 50%.

The government pointed out that the draft law also has serious negative repercussions on the labour market and companies owned in whole or in part in particular, and on providing the appropriate business environment to attract investments and attract Arab and foreign capital – as it claimed.

The Bahraini Shura Council had previously rejected two laws obligating the government to localize – Bahrainisation – jobs in the government sector, despite the escalation of the unemployment crisis and the increase in unemployed people.

The General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions had confirmed during a press conference last year that Bahrain has 15,000 unemployed people, and the real unemployment rate is 10%, not 4%, according to statements by Bahrain’s Minister of Labor and Social Development Jamil Humaidan.

The rejection of the Bahrain government and the Shura Council’s proposal to Bahrainize jobs confirms what was stated in the report of former Royal Court adviser Salah Al-Bandar, known as the Al-Bandar Report.

Al-Bandar Report confirmed that the Bahraini authorities sought to change the demographic composition of the country’s population through discrimination and political naturalization, as it has naturalized nearly 360,000 foreigners in recent years, and stressed that this is part of the apartheid policy pursued by the Bahraini government.

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