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NewsLMRA launches first Regional Center of Excellence for Capacity Building of Combatting Trafficking in Persons

LMRA launches first Regional Center of Excellence for Capacity Building of Combatting Trafficking in Persons

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Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jamal Abdulaziz Al Alawi launched the Regional Center of Excellence for Capacity Building in the Field of Combatting Trafficking in Persons, as part of the strategic partnership with the United Nations Office for Drugs & Crime (UNODC).

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The ceremony was attended by the Chief of Mission of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the Acting Resident Coordinator of United Nations Activities in Bahrain.

The Center launched its first program that aimed to develop the capabilities of the inspectors at LMRA’s Preventive Inspection and Labor Inspection Directorates in the field of fighting against forced labor. The program was held on December 1-2.

“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,” Al Alawi said. 

“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 human rights.”

As part of its key priorities, LMRA attaches prime attention to combat trafficking in persons, especially forced labor, he added. 

“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.”  

Also present was a high-level UN delegation, led by the Regional Representative of UNODC in the GCC Judge Dr. Hatem Ali, and the Chief of Mission of the International Organization of Migration and the Acting Resident Coordinator of United Nations Activities in Bahrain 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 and 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 in spreading the knowledge and awareness on policies, tools, approaches and the best practices of combating and preventing trafficking in persons.

Bahrain is also interested in enhancing international cooperation and reinforcing the Kingdom’s role in the field of combating trafficking in persons, internationally and regionally.  

Al Zarqani said that launching the center is part of implementing one of the aims of the Memorandum of Understanding.

He commended the keen interest of the Kingdom in establishing fruitful partnerships with UN agencies on combating trafficking and forced labor. 

“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)”, Al Zarqani said. 

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. 

It 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 agencies authorities, and ministries, as well as any other entities concerned with identifying or dealing with victims of trafficking while aiming to raise the awareness of frontliners and develop their capabilities in the field of combating trafficking in persons.

The center also aims at ensuring the full implementation of Bahrain’s obligations in practice. 

It will deliver comprehensive programs to prepare and qualify trainers who are specialized in combating trafficking, to train frontline, 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. 

Establishing the center is one of the major outcomes of the Government Forum to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Middle East, held in 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 will train trainers, certify and qualify experts in the field of combating trafficking, in addition to setting the required standards and guidelines relevant to the Middle East’s demographic, economic, and social factors, and promote and support researching, gathering information, conducting media campaigns and social & economic initiatives to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.

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