HRC35 Item 8 Oral Intervention: Labor Discrimination in Bahrain

On 19 June 2017, ADHRB Advocacy Associate Tyler Pry delivered an oral intervention during the 35th session of the Human Rights Council under the Item 8 General Debate. In his intervention, Pry addressed labor in Bahrain and the government’s failure to implement its labor agreements and eliminate discriminatory practices. Please keep reading for the full text of his intervention, or click here for a PDF of his intervention.

Mr. President,

Recognizing that the rights of workers are an important element of the Vienna Declaration, we would like to call the Council’s attention to the Bahraini government’s continued failure to fully implement its labor agreements and to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.

As Bahraini authorities violently suppressed the 2011 pro-democracy movement, they also leveraged their influence on the economy to punish citizens who called for reform. In the aftermath of the demonstrations, officials harassed and dismissed thousands of students, workers, and trade union representatives in reprisal for their alleged protest activity.

Following international pressure over the mass dismissals – including official complaints – the Government of Bahrain signed successive ILO-backed agreements designed to ensure the reinstatement of these workers. The second agreement in 2014 identified 165 cases that remained unresolved.

Yet three years later, activists report that well over half of these workers are still dismissed. Of those that have been reinstated, many have been deprived full compensation and benefits as afforded to them under the agreements.

Moreover, the government has continued to facilitate discrimination against workers on the basis of their political views, religious beliefs, gender, and national origin.

We therefore call on Bahrain to fully implement the provisions of the 2014 Tripartite agreement and end all forms of labor discrimination based on politics, religion, gender or nationality, in line with the aims and objectives of the VDPA.

Thank  you