ILAB in Bahrain
Office of Trade and Labor Affairs – Trade Agreement Administration & Technical Cooperation (OTLA-TAATC)
- Labor Consultations
- Background on U.S.-Bahrain FTA
- United States Employment Impact Review of the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (September 2005) (PDF)
- Labor Rights Report: Bahrain (September 2005) (PDF)
- Laws Governing Exploitative Child Labor Report: Bahrain (September 2005) (PDF)
Submission under U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement
On May 6, 2013, the U.S. Government formally requested cooperative labor consultations with Bahrain in a joint letter from the Acting Secretary of Labor and the U.S. Trade Representative. During the consultations, the U.S. Government will discuss the DOL report’s key findings, conclusions, and recommendations with the Government of Bahrain. The report's recommendations should also serve as a basis for joint development of an action plan that includes concrete steps that the Government of Bahrain can take to address the concerns raised in the report. We expect that consultations will lead to a better understanding by the Government of Bahrain of its FTA labor commitments and the steps needed to uphold them.
In April 2011, the Department of Labor (DOL) received a submission from the AFL-CIO with a statement from the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions alleging that Bahrain had violated its commitments under the Labor Chapter of the Bahrain United States Free Trade Agreement regarding the right of association, particularly non-discrimination against trade unionists.
The review process was extended to adequately consider detailed and voluminous information received from the Government of Bahrain and Bahraini workers, amendments to the Bahraini Trade Union Law, and labor-related developments in international fora regarding Bahrain, in particular at the International Labor Organization. In addition, two delegations visited Bahrain in October 2011 and February 2012 as part of the review.
After reviewing the submission, DOL issued a public report in December 2012 finding that trade unionists and leaders were targeted for dismissal, and in some cases prosecuted, in part for their role in organizing and participating in the March 2011 general strike, and that dismissals also reflected discrimination based, in part, on political opinion and activities. The report also finds religious (sectarian) discrimination against Shia workers. The report also makes specific recommendations intended to serve as a road map for the Consultation process moving forward.
The U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement entered into force on August 1, 2006.
Pursuant to section 2102 (c) of the Trade Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-210), the President is required to prepare several reports to the Congress related to new free trade agreements. Among these reports are a United States Employment Impact Review, Labor Rights Report, and Laws Governing Exploitative Child Labor Report. The Department of Labor, in consultation with other federal agencies, has been delegated the responsibility for preparing these three reports.
For more information about the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, please visit the USTR Web site.
Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor
- 2011 Bahrain Report (PDF)
- Previous Reports
This annual report focuses on the efforts of U.S. trade beneficiary countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement mechanisms, policies and social programs. (Learn More...)