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IOM Migration Activities

Bahrain, together with other Gulf Countries, has a history of intra-regional overseas contract workers. These dynamics between the labour-sending and the GCC labour-receiving states continue to yield important economic benefits for involved parts including, of course, overseas contract workers. According to Bahraini government estimates, overseas workers comprise 63 per cent of the country’s work force. The promise of economic and social prosperity and employment in Bahrain is often used as a lure by traffickers to bring in workers from India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. These workers find themselves in situations of abuse and exploitation. The government of Bahrain is aware of the complexity of the problem and it is deploying intense efforts to tackle it at different levels, including the launching of a National Plan of Action since 2002 to counter trafficking and prevent abuse of overseas workers, as well as the recent opening of a “Safe House” or shelter for abused overseas workers and victims of trafficking.

Regulating Migration

IOM’s programmatic response aims to assist the country by increasing the government's capacity to further develop instruments to protect overseas contract workers, and to fight and prevent trafficking. Within this context IOM's assistance will focus on enhancing existing capacities of the government and partners of the civil society in terms of shelter management for the protection of abused workers and victims of trafficking, information campaigns, as well as training the staff of national institutions involved in overseas contract workers’ protection, counseling and assistance. A counter-trafficking capacity building intervention to complement current efforts of the Bahraini government in curbing trafficking in persons has been funded by the government of the United States of America; the project will be implemented by IOM in close coordination with the Ministry of Social Development.

Main Projects

  • Capacity Building of National Institutions on Shelter Management
  • Protection of overseas workers in Bahrain

Last updated:
Main text: March 2007
Facts and figures: February 2016

Population (2015):1.4 million
Area:717 km sq
Languages :Arabic
Currency:Bahraini Dinar (BHD)
GDP per Capita PPP (2014):USD 46,082
HDI Rank (2014):45 of 188
Net Migration Rate (2015-2020):4.6 migrants/1,000 population
Immigrants (2015):51.1%
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants (2015):27.7%
Population under 15 (2015):21.5%

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
UN House 69
Road 1901 Hoora 319

Tel: +973 17 29 12 50