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Bahrain Ambassador to London holds a luncheon and reviews Bahrain UPR efforts to promote and protect human rights this year

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Kingdom Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa hosted a luncheon during which he reviewed the Universal Periodic Report efforts of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the promotion and protection of human rights during the current year.

The luncheon was attended by a large number of British Foreign Office officials, led by Lord Tariq Ahmed of Wimbledon, Minister of State for Human Rights, as well as a number of deputies, lords, and those concerned with human rights affairs in the United Kingdom, with the participation of a group of officials and experts from the Bahraini side.

The report, prepared by the Embassy in cooperation with a number of stakeholders in the Kingdom of Bahrain, focused on the experience of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the region to promote and protect human rights, in particular the Kingdom's advanced role in supporting and empowering women in the region and the issuance of family law that enhances the protection of the rights of Bahraini women and children as well as the kingdom’s leading role in the fight against trafficking in persons.

He also shed light on Bahrain's leading experience in the region to promote interfaith tolerance, particularly through the Bahrain Declaration, which seeks to promote peace, tolerance and coexistence not only in Bahrain but across the world, as well as to provide a summary of the work of human rights monitoring institutions such as the Ombudsman and the National Institution.

He pointed out Bahrain in his welcoming statement to the endeavors of embassy highlight the Kingdom's outstanding achievements under the bright era of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa which took place in all areas, especially the leading role of the Kingdom of Bahrain in supporting, promoting and protecting the concept of human rights as a top priority.

The kingdom, he said, set legislations through and priorities and formulated and implemented them, affirming the principle of transparency in dealing with these issues through its endeavors to publish the periodic UPR to inform everyone at home and abroad, and put emphasis on the great importance the Kingdom of Bahrain guardian attaches to human rights.

In her turn, Deputy Secretary General of Ombudsman Mrs. Ghada Hameed Habib reviewed the important role played by the Secretariat and gave a briefing on its tasks, competencies and establishment nearly seven years ago to be the first of its kind in the region.

It also reviewed the overall activities of the Secretariat in the past period, as revealed in its six annual reports up to now, which are published transparently through media and in the website of the Secretariat.

Speaking at the luncheon, Lt. Col. Fahad Al-Ahmad pointed to the remarkable success achieved by the Kingdom of Bahrain in its efforts to combat terrorism and to dry up its sources of financing.

These achievements were made despite the increasing terrorist risks in the region and confronted by the kingdom’s efforts in countering the financing of terrorist activities, which were all mentioned in the report published by the US Foreign Office issued on the first of this month, he said.

He added that the report pointed to the success achieved by the Kingdom and manifested in noticeable decline in the rate of terrorist attacks against security forces in various regions of the Kingdom, where 2018 did not record any terrorist attacks in Bahrain, thanks to the efforts of the government and the vigilance of security personnel.

He cited projects and initiatives in support of national unity such as the launch of the Ministry National Plan for the Promotion of National Belonging and Consolidation of Bahraini Citizenship in March as great values launched by the Minister of Interior.

AL Ahmad also mentioned the community partnership initiatives adopted by the Ministry of Interior, and the most important human rights applications in community police, and presented the foundations and standards for police ethics and means of control followed by the launch of a new prison and detention buildings that will be implemented in line with international standards and best practices.

Lt. Col. Fahad Al-Ahmad reviewed the application of the Alternative Penal Code, through which the Kingdom of Bahrain seeks to bring the implementation of the law in line with the Government's aspirations towards the rehabilitation and reform of the convicted to make of them good working individual to build their society and contribute to its development in embodiment of the meaning of social partnership which is the main purpose of implementing this law.

He said the law is in line with international human rights mechanisms to enforce the law, improve prison conditions and detention, reduce the use of prison sentences and use alternative remedial penalties.

Thanks to this policy, 856 people avoided detention, of the convicted persons, 71% were sentenced to community service, 16% sent to rehabilitation and training programs, 8% treated for criminal harm and the remaining 5% into other measure, he said.

Director of Development and Audit at the Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA). Mohammed Al Ahmadi cited the efforts exerted by the Kingdom of Bahrain and its achievements in the field of combating trafficking in persons, which culminated in obtaining the first category in the USA TIP report on trafficking in persons for the second year in a row.

He summarized the most important achievements in the Kingdom of Bahrain through the measures that have been implemented and the laws enacted during the recent period.

He mentioned the Flexi Permit and the abolition of the sponsorship system, and the establishment of places of protection for the most vulnerable people as well as the Digital electronic system of the national referral system for victims of trafficking in persons, and the launch of the Regional Center for Training and Capacity-building in the fight against trafficking.

Speaking at the event, Colonel Bob Stewart, Chairman of the Bahraini-British Parliamentary Friendship Group stressed the importance of preparing and publishing these reports because they are useful in conveying the real and realistic picture of the developments in the Kingdom of Bahrain, so as to facilitate access to information by specialists and interested persons in case of need.

He praised the role played by the embassy in communicating with MPs and decision makers and its efforts in disseminating the facts, appreciating the opportunity to meet with officials concerned with human rights affairs in the Kingdom of Bahrain during the event.

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