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Activist Welcomes New Regulation


A RIGHTS activist has welcomed efforts to hold so-called “manpower” agencies to account, but said more must be done to protect domestic workers.

Migrant Workers Protection Society chairwoman Marietta Dias backed new regulations from the Labour Market Regulatory Authority that require housemaid recruitment agencies to maintain a bank account with at least BD10,000 in it in order to keep their licences.

“We are in total agreement with the deposit regulation as this would help in case of emergencies,” said Ms Dias.

“But what is more important is a body that would continually monitor these manpower agencies.

“Every agency must be monitored and regulated as we face too many problems with sponsors and agencies.

“In case things go wrong there should be a responsible body to whom we can revert, which should be able to address our concerns.”

Ms Dias added that hiring agents should be held accountable as they were involved in a “big money” business that affected people’s lives.

“They cannot wash their hands of the issues so easily,” she said, pointing to the oft-cited three-month agreement between agencies and sponsors that sees the former eschew all responsibility for domestic workers once they have been in Bahrain for the first quarter of their first year.