EOHR welcomes the abolition of sponsor system in Bahrain

May 6th, 2009 by Editor


The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) welcomed the decision of Bahraini authorities to abolish sponsor  system for foreign workers ,the decision  will be implemented beginning in next August in a positive step to abide by international covenants concerned with human rights. 

EOHR had called for the abolition of the sponsor system, saying it is a form of slavery that have been banned by international covenants , specially  “The Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery and the Slave Trade and Institutions and practices similar to slavery”, which was approved by the decision of Economic and Social Council – United Nations in September 1956 and entered into force in April 1957 . This convention provided in its first article the definition of serfdom as ” Any person abide by custom , law or agreement to live and work on the land of another person and to provide certain services for that person in the return for money or for free as he is not free to change his situation”. Moreover , the sponsor system is considered a form of slavery which was banned by the convention related to slavery issued in Geneva in December 25, 1926.


The system allows the sponsor in the Gulf states to impose  ” forced labor “on the Egyptian workers in a violation to the provision of article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states. “No one shall be held in slavery, all forms of slave trade are banned “. Also the sponsor system allows employers in gulf states to detain Egyptian workers preventing them to move or travel or impose specific careers for them so far that it is given such power to confiscate passports of the  sponsored workers.


EOHR welcomed the decision of Bahraini authorities to abolish sponsor system for workers , it calls for all Arab States which apply the sponsor system to cancel it like Bahrain authorities . It calls for a set of recommendations as follows:   

1- Joining and ratifying the international conventions for human rights like the International Covenant on Economic, social and cultural rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Protocols attached thereto, and the International Convention against Torture.

2 – Reconsidering  the existed legislative structure to conform with the principles of human rights and relevant international conventions, especially with regard to guarantees of protection of all persons from arbitrary detention , torture and ill-treatment , the adoption of well known international guarantees to ensure the independence of the judiciary and to provide such guarantees of fair trial.


3- Opening channels of dialogue between representatives of governments and human rights organizations and to reply to their correspondences and allow representatives of these organizations to send fact-finding missions on human rights situation within those countries.


4 – Activating the office of Egyptian workers in Gulf countries to ensure the performance of its role and to confront violations of the rights of Egyptian workers in Gulf countries.

5 – Unifying  the law ,decisions and institutions which  organize

 the transfer of Egyptian workers abroad.

6 – The need to expedite the holding of conventions to organize  migration to the Arab countries and guarantee the rights of workers within each country.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 9:51 am and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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