The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), H.E Mr. Jamal Abdulaziz Al Alawi launched Regional Center of Excellence for Capacity Building in the Field of Combatting Trafficking in Persons, as part of the strategic partnership with United Nations Office for Drugs & Crime (UNODC), in presence of the Chief of Mission of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the Acting Resident Coordinator of United Nations Activities in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The Regional Center of Excellence for Capacity Building in the Field of Combatting Trafficking in Persons launched its first program that aimed to develop the capabilities of the inspectors at LMRA’s Preventive Inspection and Labour Inspection Directorates in the field of fighting against forced labor. The program took place over two consecutive days, commencing Wednesday, 1st December 2021.
“In view of the pioneering experience of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Regional Center of Excellence for Capacity Building in the Field of Combatting Trafficking in Persons is deemed as the house of expertise for combatting trafficking in persons.
The center aims to further develop the available tools in order to ensure coping with crime developments and its multiple forms, in addition to fostering the capabilities of the workforce in line with the Constitution, national regulations and international conventions on respecting the human rights”, said H.E Mr. Al Alawi.
“As part of its key priorities, LMRA attaches prime attention to combat trafficking in persons, especially forced labour. Resorting to UNODC’s international intensive experiences, the workshop’s content was tailored to go in line with LMRA’s strategies, to facilitate the identification of the crime once it occurs, ultimately to better safeguard the rights of the victims and punish the perpetrators.
Training is essential to bridge the gap between work requirements and employees’ capabilities”, added H.E Mr. Al Alawi.
The event was attended by a high-level UN delegation, led by the Regional Representative of UNODC in the GCC Judge Dr. Hatem Ali, as well as the Chief of Mission of the International Organization of Migration and the Acting Resident Coordinator of United Nations Activities in the Kingdom of Bahrain Mr. Mohammed Al Zarqani. Dr. Hatem Ali underscored UNODC’s pride in the existing partnership with Bahrain over the past years, which resulted in attaining numerous achievements in crime prevention and criminal justice in general, and combating trafficking in particular.
In reference to the Memorandum of Understanding between the LMRA & UNODC in 2019, Dr. Hatem Ali stressed that Bahrain’s initiative to host the Regional Center of Excellence in the Field of Combatting Trafficking in Persons vividly reflects the keen interest of the Kingdom’s Leadership spreading the knowledge and awareness on policies, tools, approaches and the best practices of combating and preventing trafficking in persons, as well as enhancing the international cooperation and reinforcing the Kingdom of Bahrain’s role in the field of combating trafficking in persons, internationally and regionally.
On the other hand, Mr. Mohammed Al Zarqani stated that launching the center is part of implementing one of the aims of the Memorandum of Understanding, while hailing the keen interest of the Kingdom in establishing fruitful partnerships with UN agencies on combating trafficking and forced labour. “We will continue to support the Kingdom’s efforts in various means, as part of the recent agreement between the Kingdom of Bahrain and UN’s agencies on strategic cooperation and sustainable growth (2021-2022)”, said Mr. Al Zarqani.
The Regional Center of Excellence for Capacity Building in the Field of Combatting Trafficking in Persons is a milestone in Bahrain’s mechanism of combating trafficking and reinforces Bahrain’s pioneering experience. The center will continue to deliver specialized training courses for frontliners who deal with victims or potential victims, based on their scope and nature of work with various authorities and ministries, as well as any other entities that are concerned with identifying or dealing with victims of trafficking, while aiming to raise the awareness of those frontliners and develop their capabilities in the field of combating trafficking in persons.
Moreover, the center also aims at ensuring the full implementation of Bahrain’s obligations in practice. Therefore, the center will deliver comprehensive programs to prepare and qualify trainers who are specialized in combating trafficking, to train frontliners, in addition to raising their awareness and capabilities to ensure the sustainment and institutionalization of work in a clear approach, to identify and combat such crimes once committed.
In conclusion, establishing the center is one of the major outcomes of The Government Forum to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Middle East, which was held in the Kingdom of Bahrain in October 2019. It is the first center of excellence and regional training hub in the field of combating trafficking in persons, in the area. The center aims to train trainers, certify and qualify experts in the field of combating trafficking, in addition to setting the required standards and guidelines relevant to Middle east’s demographic, economic and social factors, and finally, promote and support researching, gathering information, conducting media campaigns and social & economic initiatives to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.