AS we mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, I, on behalf of the Embassy of the Philippines, the Republic of the Philippines and most of all, the over 50,000 overseas Filipinos living and working in Bahrain, extend congratulations on the Kingdom of Bahrain’s attainment of Tier 1 status in the US Department of State classification of States in Combating Trafficking in Persons.
For the second straight year, Bahrain remains to be the only country in the region to achieve Tier 1 status as ranked by the US Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TiP) report.
This is a clear acknowledgement and recognition of Bahrain’s efforts to fully comply with the standards for the elimination of the terrible global scourge that is human trafficking.
As one of the major origins of foreign workers, the Philippines welcomes this development as it partners with Bahrain in addressing human trafficking issues for the Filipinos as well as other expatriate communities in the kingdom.
More than Bahrain’s regional leadership role in this issue, the Philippines acknowledges all the innovations and developments that have been, and, continues to be implemented in the overall context of Bahrain’s far-reaching and progressive labour migration reforms.
This achievement brings to the fore Bahrain’s deep appreciation and understanding of the inextricable link between migration and sustainable development goals and the overall context of the rights of migrants.
The Embassy has been disseminating to the Filipino expatriate community the various reform measures undertaken by Bahrain, and many Filipinos have been directly accessing and benefiting from these measures, either through the Labour Market Regulatory Authority Expat Centre, the 995 and 999 hotlines, the referral systems and local police stations.
The Philippines and Bahrain have embarked on many levels of co-operation on the issue of human trafficking and labour migration reform, noting how the Philippines, as a model labour-deployment country and Bahrain, a model labour-receiving country, are indeed logical and natural partners in this fight.
In this regard, the Philippines stands ready to co-operate with Bahrain on the issue of trafficking in persons, both countries being Tier 1, in information sharing, best practices as a sending country which could complement the experiences and lessons learned in the global fight against trafficking in persons.
We wish Bahrain continued success in its unrelenting efforts to fight human trafficking.
l Mr Ver is the Philippines Ambassador to Bahrain