Bahrain warns on withholding of passports
Manama, June 3, 2013
Employers in Bahrain who withhold passports of foreign workers on the pretext of protecting their rights have been condemned by a senior government official.
"Employers should safeguard their rights by drafting clear employment contracts that is in the interest of both parties," Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) Under-Secretary Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa was quoted as saying in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"The employers' claims that workers might run away or leave the country without their knowledge was not a civil way to tackle the issue as the passport is an owner's personal document and belongs to the country that issues it.
"If a worker runs away without the employer's knowledge, the case should be resolved through courts in co-ordination with the NPRA," Shaikh Rashid said.
He praised the co-ordination and co-operation between the authorities involved in regulating the affairs of expatriate workers in Bahrain, highlighting facilities provided by the kingdom for foreign manpower.
He hailed labour law-abiding employers for protecting the reputation of Bahrain, and working in the interest of foreign workers.
Shaikh Rashid said authorities are co-operating with foreign embassies in Bahrain to facilitate the stay of their nationals in the kingdom.
This, he said, is contributing to the development and prosperity of Bahrain.
Director of Search and Follow-up Colonel Ghazi Saleh Sinan said withholding foreign workers' passports was illegal.
He said if an employer refuses to hand over a worker's passport, the issue should be tackled through courts by filing a legal case and thereafter respecting the court ruling. – TradeArabia News Service