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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                       

Kingdom of Bahrain

With its highly developed communication and transport facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinational firms with business in the Gulf. Petroleum production and refining account for over 60% of Bahrain's export receipts, over 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP (exclusive of allied industries), underpinning Bahrain's strong economic growth in recent years. Aluminum is Bahrain's second major export after oil.

Unemployment, especially among the young, and the depletion of oil and underground water resources are long-term economic problems.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Bahrain.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Child beggars thrive on Muslim holy season in Gulf states

Agence France-Presse AFP, Dubai, Oct 12, 2007

[accessed 3 April 2011]

[accessed 21 November 2016]

According to a study by the Imam Mohammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh published in the Saudi daily Okaz, more than 80,000 "street children" can be found at any one time in the six oil-rich Gulf Arab monarchies -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Death in custody, arbitrary arrests and unfair trials of children

Amnistía Internacional, Bahrain Women and Children Subject to Increasing Abuse, July 1996 -- AI INDEX: MDE 11/18/96

[accessed 3 April 2011]

[scroll down]

In July 1995, a 16-year-old student, Said Abd al-Rasul al-Iskafi, died in custody ten days after his arrest in circumstances strongly suggesting that torture was a contributory factor in his death. He had reportedly been detained on suspicion of having sprayed anti-government graffiti on walls near his home. Amnesty International obtained photographs of his dead body and submitted them to an expert forensic pathologist at Guys Hospital in the United Kingdom who noted that some marks on the body were consistent with injuries caused by striking or pressing the end of a tubular object against the skin. The pathologist concluded: The appearances indicate that the deceased has been subjected to ill-treatment of a sustained and very painful nature. Amnesty International also received reports that Said al-Iskafi, and at least one other child had been sexually assaulted while in custody.

Although most of the children detained last year and recently have been freed, many more are still being arrested at the time of writing this report, taken away in house raids, peaceful demonstrations or after clashes with security forces. In some cases, security forces targeted children to hold them hostage until relatives sought by police turned themselves in. The numbers of detainees changes daily but it is believed that at any one time, about 60 children may be held without access to legal assistance or family.


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 25 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - The net primary school attendance rate from 1999-2002 was 85 percent for boys and 84.0 percent for girls.

CHILD LABOR LAWS AND ENFORCEMENT - The Labor Law of 1976 sets the minimum age for employment at 14 years.  Under the Labor Law, juveniles (ages 14 to 16 years) may not be employed in hazardous conditions, at night, or for more than 6 hours per day.  The Ministry of Labor has inspectors to enforce legislation in the industrial sector, and the U.S. Department of State reported that such inspections are effective.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 6 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Children born to Bahraini mothers and non-citizen fathers are not entitled to citizenship. The Bahrain Women's Society reported in June that there are approximately 1,800 children of Bahraini women who reside in the country but do not have citizenship. These children are ineligible for certain educational and healthcare benefits and other rights of citizens.

Public education for citizen children below the age of 15 is free

Islamic Clerics Authorize Sex With Infants

Excerpts from an interview with Bahraini women's rights activist Ghada Jamshir, Al-Arabiya TV, December 21, 2005,, January 4, 2006

[accessed 20 January 2011]

"We have a problem with family planning. We have no family planning in Bahrain. The Shiites in Bahrain have marriages for the purpose of mut'ah [pleasure]. They bring multitudes of children into the world, without thinking, who grow up in the streets.

Education Reform in Bahrain

Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies, Welcome to Bahrain Brief, November 2001 Volume 2 Issue 11

[Last access date unavailable]

COMPULSORY SCHOOLING - The new legislation on education passed by the Consultative Council will make schooling compulsory for all children.  Although it is highly unusual for school age children in Bahrain not to attend school, only now will the courts have the power to impose fines on those parents whose children are not at school. Parents whose children do not attend school for more than ten days each academic year risk prosecution.

Committee Concludes Review Of Children’s Rights

UN Press Release GA/SHC/3748, Fifty-eighth General Assembly, Third Committee, 19th & 20th Meetings, 21/10/2003

[accessed 3 April 2011]

An analytical study of the situation of children in Bahrain had been undertaken to identify remaining gaps in their protection, she said.  As a result of this study, a Council had been established to develop a strategy for the promotion and protection of children’s rights.  Bahrain was also striving to improve the educational sector to strengthen the country’s human resources.  Much work had been undertaken by the Ministry of Education, including the setting up of day-care projects and assistance to families with limited resources.

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