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Cablegate: Input for Forced Labor and Child Labor Reports

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMK #0056 0321240
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011240Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9183
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT

UNCLAS MANAMA 000056

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP, DRL/ILCSR-SMORGAN, G/TIP-LCDEBACA
DOL FOR ILAB/LSTROTKAMP AND JRUDE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB EIND ETRD KTIP PHUM SOCI BA
SUBJECT: INPUT FOR FORCED LABOR AND CHILD LABOR REPORTS

REF: A. STATE 131997 B. 09 MANAMA 31

1.(U) Summary: There were no reports of forced labor in the production of goods in Bahrain in 2009, nor were there reports of exploitative child labor, trafficking of children, or commercial sexual exploitation of children. End Summary. FORCED/CHILD LABOR IN THE PRODUCTION OF GOODS = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

2.(U) With respect to ref A tasking 1: Bahrain produces negligible agricultural commodities, and, with the exception of oil, gas, and aluminum, negligible manufactured goods. There were no reports of forced labor or exploitative child labor in the production of raw materials (i.e., oil and gas) or finished products (i.e., aluminum products). Companies in these sectors tend to be large, state-controlled entities (e.g., BAPCO and Alba), with strong compliance with GOB labor laws and active trade unions. EXPLOITATIVE CHILD LABOR = = = = = = = = = = = = =

3.(U) With respect to ref A tasking 2: Child labor in Bahrain is infrequent, and tends to be in family-owned and -operated shops. There were no reports of children involved in hazardous child labor, forced child labor, trafficking, or commercial sexual exploitation.

4.(U) The GOB did not enact new laws or regulations concerning child labor in 2009. The 1976 Labor Law for the Private Sector, as amended, continues to generally prohibit the employment of children under the age of

16. Juveniles between ages 14 and 16 may obtain official authorization to work from the Ministry of Labor (MOL) if they can prove an urgent need to provide financial support for their families. Juveniles who obtain such permission may work no more than six hours per day with a one-hour minimum rest period. Minors may not work overtime, nor in industries deemed hazardous or unhealthy by the Ministry of Health. These regulations do not pertain to employment where the only other employees are family members. The law also prohibits forced and compulsory labor. The law stipulates that the minimum age for military recruitment is 18 years.

5.(U) Approximately 50 inspectors from the MOL conduct inspections of private sector firms relating to health, safety and environment (HSE) matters, including monitoring child labor violations. A smaller number of inspectors from the Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) also conduct inspections with respect to foreign workers' work permits and working conditions.

6.(U) The GOB does not devote significant resources to investigating child labor cases. The government cites the lack of a child labor problem as its cause for not having a comprehensive policy to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. Education in Bahrain is free and compulsory in law and practice, and widely attended.

7.(U) The GOB's 2008 Anti-Trafficking Law stipulates prison sentences and fines for trafficking of minors. Trafficking in persons (TIP) and other abuses continue to be a problem for many migrant workers in Bahrain, though there were no reports of children being trafficked or abused in the workplace. ERELI

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