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Bahrain 'excels in reform progress'

Manama, December 1, 2013

By Sandeep Singh Grewal

Bahrain remains committed to implementing the findings of a high-level probe into the 2011 unrest.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) Follow-Up Unit issued its third report today, which states that government bodies successfully implemented nationwide development plans, including intensive training of police forces, to help the country move forward following the events of February and March 2011, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

It says some ministries have "clearly excelled" in executing reforms beyond the BICI recommendations.

The 68-page report shows the progress made by the government at every stage in implementing the findings of the commission.

It also states that 19 recommendations were implemented in full, while work on the remaining seven is still ongoing.

"Overall, the Follow-Up Unit affirms that Bahrain is fully committed to the implementations of the BICI recommendations based on an agenda prepared in advance to ensure full and proper implementation," it said.

The unit said some government bodies, such as the Interior Ministry, carried out plans which were not included in the BICI report, including training of all its employees.

"More than half of the judiciary received over the last two years extensive training in the subjects of special importance, particularly the protection of human rights in criminal procedure and international and regional standards of criminal justice," it said.

The report shows that a number of judges and members of the Public Prosecution took part in several regional and international conferences.

It also addressed the government's effort to update all parties concerned about progress and genuine reforms made since December 2011 to date.

Meanwhile, the report says the government managed to fully reinstate and reintegrate more than 98.68 per cent of workers dismissed during the events of February and March 2011.

It said the figures were highlighted to a delegation from the International Labour Organisation that visited Bahrain in October, adding the percentage of reinstatement had reached 92pc at that time.

"In large companies, dismissal cases totalled 1,765," it read.

"Percentage of reinstatement reached 100 per cent in all entities, with the exception of two companies.

"A total of 12 (cases) remained outstanding as managements of companies have opted, for administrative and legal reasons, to resolve them through the courts."

However, many cases of those dismissed from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) remain unsolved as some of the companies closed down due to financial difficulties, downsized their businesses or hired replacements.

The report said the Labour Ministry managed to resolve 500 out of the 640 cases.

"The government will continue to expend efforts to remedy any individual cases which remain unsettled to date, taking into consideration that workers and employers should be more flexible and co-operative in order to settle those outstanding cases," it added.

"If a settlement cannot be reached, the parties may resort to courts for resolution of disputed affairs and cases which cannot be amicably settled."

The report added that the government has funded several nationwide programmes to prevent incitement to violence and sectarianism, and to promote peace and unity among all segments of the society.

Among the initiatives were reconciliatory measures, where the Social Development Ministry last year allocated $300,000 to 20 non-governmental organisations through the NGO fund to develop programmes to strengthen the social fabric and launch several national campaigns including Youth City 2030. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Report | unrest | reform | BICI |

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