BCCI slams security deposit for maids
Manama, July 9, 2009
Security deposits for housemaids will add burdens on citizens and are not inline with policies of the International Labour Organisations, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has said.
The decision to enforce a security deposit will freeze money liquidity, which is supposed to move and activate the local market, especially in the current situation, said BCCI chairman Dr Essam Fakhro.
His response comes after Indian Ambassador Dr George Joseph said on Monday that some measures were already in place to protect housemaids where sponsors had to provide a security deposit of $2,500 (BD950) to be deposited in an Indian bank in Bahrain in favour of the embassy.
This amount was a way to protect housemaids whose employers had defaulted on paying them a minimum wage of BD100.
"I am worried that this suggestion will extend to be applied in other categories in different work sectors," said Dr Fakhro.
He said that it would not be a surprise in the future that other countries supplying housemaids will follow India.
"This decision should be challenged and I call upon other parties concerned, especially the Works Ministry, to get involved in this matter," said Dr Fakhro.
"What is happening is feared to be a new direction in the Bahrain labour market and others in the region with the direct intervention from housemaid supplying countries."
He said that the existence of expatriate labourers in Bahrain was governed by the country's laws and bilateral agreements with other countries based on international measures.
"The BCCI appreciates the role that the labourers take in the development of the country and supports all the efforts and steps that Bahrain is taking to improve their situation according to international standards," said Dr Fakhro. "However, all the parties concerned should work together and focus on avoiding introducing new obstacles in the labour market." -TradeArabia News Service