From: Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights – Kingdom of Bahrain
To: Secretary-General, International Labor Organization – Switzerland
Please accept our kindest regards,
Re: Complaint against Bahraini Minister of Labor
Dear Messer/ International Labor Organization (ILO),
We in Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) would like to praise your permanent efforts to serve workers and non-workers all over the world. Your reputable organization has already participated in establishing the general policies for officials in different countries in terms of proper work climate. You have already mentioned that “Decent work is the work product on which rights are protected, which generates an adequate income, with adequate social protection. It also means working adequately, in the sense that all have the potential to reach the full income-earning opportunities. It opens the way to social and economic development, any way in which employment, income and social protection without compromising the rights of workers and social standards”
Dear ILO, we would like to inform you that Bahraini Minister of Labor, Majid El-Alawy made press statements that Bahraini youth are lazy and that they refuse to occupy the job vacancies provided by the ministry.
BYSHR would like to assert that such statements made by the Minister of Labor are not supported by any documents. Albeit this, Bahrain Youth Society would like to inform you that:
Bahraini Minister of Labor has launched a national employment project after a group of unemployed youth established a committee to discuss their own problems. The official authorities in Bahrain met this committee with a bunch of harassments. However, the committee survived and succeeded to deliver its peaceful messages to official authorities. Therefore, the Ministry of Labor established the “national employment project”. The project failed to find proper job vacancies for the unemployed, though. For example, the ministry offered the female unemployed some job vacancies, which require intensive power and strength, which no woman neither in Bahrain nor the world can afford. Accordingly, the ministry considered that this is a rejection to the job vacancies from the part of youth. There are many other points to clarify the gross failure of the said national project.
There is no minimum wage in Bahrain. However, the Ministry of Labor identified the minimum wage as 200 BHD (US$ 754). The ministry also started to contract with many private companies to raise the wages of employees to 200 BHD. Many official and unofficial studies mentioned that 200 BHD per month could not cover the Bahraini standard of living. The prices of different commodities including leasing and purchasing houses are too high to afford.
We – in BYSHR – are addressing you about the statements of Bahraini Minister of Labor. We hope that you will consider this letter as an official complaint against Bahraini Minister of Labor who attributed untrue descriptions to Bahraini youth who are seeking job vacancies fitting their academic level. Minister of Labor did not find practical solution for the problems suffered by low-paid and unemployed youth. Instead of admitting his failure, he accused Bahraini youth with laziness and willingness to create labor crisis in Bahrain.
Dear ILO, Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights file our complaint to you with great hope that you will take necessary measures towards the Bahraini Minister of Labor statements. We are confident of your prompt response to young people seeking proper job vacancies to afford life requirements in Bahrain.
Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights
9 June 2007
Carbon Copy to:
ILO Regional Office – Lebanon