Law No. 1 of 2008 with Respect to Trafficking in Persons:
We Hamad bin Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain
Having reviewed the Constitution;
The Penal Code Promulgated by Legislative Decree No.(15) of 1976, as amended
Legislative Decree No.(16) of 1991 with Respect to the Accession by the State of Bahrain to the U.N. Convention concerning the Rights of the Child which was approved by the General Assembly in November, 1989,
Legislative Decree No.5 of 2002 with respect to Approving the Accession to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women,
and the Code of Criminal Procedure promulgated by Legislative Decree No.46 of 2002, as amended by Law No.41 of 2005,
and Law No.4 of 2004 with respect to the Accession by the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its two Supplementary Protocols,
and Law No.19 Of 2004 with respect To Approving The Accession of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the two Optional Protocols on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts and the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography attached to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,
and Law No.19 of 2006 with respect to Regulating the Labour Market,
and Decree No.7 of 1990 with respect to the Accession to the Slavery Convention signed in September 1926, as amended by the Protocol drawn up in 1953 and the Supplementary Convention of 1956 on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery,
The Consultative Council and Council of Representatives ratified the following Law, which we approved and enacted:
a. For the purpose of implementing the provisions of this Law, trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receiving persons, by means of threat or the use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deceit, abuse of power or of position or any other direct or indirect unlawful means.
Exploitation shall include the exploitation of such person or the prostitution of others or any other forms of exploitation, sexual assault, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
b. Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receiving of persons who are less than eighteen years of age or who are in a condition or personal state in which their consent or freedom of choice cannot be guaranteed shall be deemed as trafficking in persons if the intent is to exploit them even if such act is not accompanied by any of the means provided for in the preceding paragraph.
c. The perpetrator shall be presumed to have knowledge of the real age of the victim who is not eighteen years of age.
Without prejudice to any harsher penalty prescribed by the Penal Code or any other law, any person committing a crime or trafficking in persons shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine of no less than Bahrain Dinars two thousand and not more than Bahrain Dinars ten thousand.
In case of conviction, the perpetrator shall be obliged to pay the costs, including the costs of repatriating the victim to his country where he is a foreigner.
In all cases, the Court shall order the confiscation of the funds, luggage, tools and other items that are used or prepared for use in committing the crime or that resulted therefrom.
Each corporate person who commits a crime of trafficking in persons in its name or on its behalf or benefits from any chairman, member of board of directors or another official at such corporate person or affiliate acting in such capacity shall be liable for payment of a fine of no less than Bahrain Dinars ten thousand and not more than Bahrain Dinars one hundred thousand.
This shall not prejudice of the criminal liability of natural persons who work for such corporate person or on its behalf in accordance with the provisions of this Law.
The Court may order the dissolution or the permanent or temporary closure of the corporate person, and such provision shall be applicable to the branches thereof.
In all cases, the Court shall order the confiscation of the funds, luggage, tools and other items that may have been used or intended for use in committing the crime or that resulted therefrom.
The corporate person shall jointly with the natural person be liable for payment of the costs, including the costs of repatriating the victim to his country where he is a foreigner.
Subject to the provisions of Chapter 5 of Part 3 of the Penal Code, the following shall be deemed as aggravating circumstances in a crime of trafficking in persons:
1. If the crime is committed by a criminal group.
2. If the victim is below fifteen years of age, a female or a person with special needs.
3. If the crime is of a non-national nature.
4. If the perpetrator is a blood relative of the victim or if he is his guardian or responsible for his supervision or has authority over him, or if the victim is his servant.
5. If the victim suffers an incurable disease as a result of committing the crime.
The following actions shall be taken in the stage of investigation or court proceedings in respect of a crime of trafficking in persons:
1. Informing the victim of his legal rights in a language he understands.
2. Enabling the victim to explain his position as a victim of a crime of trafficking in persons, as well as his legal, physical, psychological and social status.
3. The victim shall be examined by a specialist physician if he so requests, or if it transpires that he is in need of medical or psychiatric care.
4. Admitting the victim into a medical or psychiatric centre or a welfare centre if it transpires that his medical or psychological condition or age so requires.
5. Admitting the victim into a special centre for the provision of shelter or qualification with a licensed authority to undertake providing accommodation thereto if it is found that this is required.
6. Arranging security protection for the victim if so required.
7. Contacting the Chairman of the committee provided for in Article 7 of this Law if the victim is a foreigner and it transpires that he is in need of a job, with a view to removing any obstacles in this regard.
Without prejudice to the competence of the committee provided for in Article 7 of this Law with respect to recommending that the victim remains in the Kingdom, the Public Prosecution or the Court hearing the criminal case shall have the discretion to determine whether there is a need for victim to remain in the Kingdom during the investigation or court proceedings, as well as taking the measures prescribed in the preceding Article and evidencing them in the minutes of the investigation or court hearing, as the case may be, provided that they shall be accompanied by all the reports related to the victim. The Public Prosecution shall refer to the said committee a certified copy of the criminal case file, after adopting a decision in respect thereof.
There shall be formed by an Order of the Minister of Social Development a committee to be called the “Committee for the Assessment of the Status of Foreigners who are Victims of Trafficking in Persons”, and shall be comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Residence, Ministry of Social Development and the Labour Market Regulatory Authority, of whom each shall appoint two persons to represent it. A chairman shall be appointed for such Committee who shall be selected by the Minister of Social Development. The Committee shall adopt its resolutions and recommendations by the absolute majority of votes and in case of a tie, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
The Committee shall have access to all reports related to the victim and the right to hear all his statements or these of his representative.
The functions of the Committee shall be as follows:
1. Implementing Sub-clause 7 of Article (5) of this Law.
2. Co-ordinating with the Ministry of the Interior for the repatriation of the victim to his home country of which he is a national or to his place of residence in any other country if he so requests.
3. Making recommendations in case there is a need for a victim to stay in the Kingdom and adjust his legal status with a view to enabling him to get employment. Such recommendation shall be submitted to the Minister of the Interior for his approval, and in case of approval, it shall be subject to a review once every six months as a maximum in accordance with the same procedures.
There shall be formed by a Ministerial Order of the Minister of Foreign Affairs a committee to be called the “Committee for Combating Trafficking in Persons”. It shall be comprised of representatives from government authorities to be determined by the Ministerial Order after co-ordination with such authorities especially the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Information and the Labour Market Regulatory Authority, as well as representatives from three civil societies to be nominated by the Minister of Social Development.
The functions of the Committee shall be as follows:
1. Laying down a programme for preventing and combating trafficking in persons and protecting the victims of trafficking in persons from being re-targeted or abusing them.
2. Encouraging and supporting the preparation of research, information, media campaigns and social and economic initiatives for preventing and combating trafficking in persons.
3. Co-ordinating with government departments in connection with information related to trafficking in persons.
4. Participating with the concerned authorities in the preparation of the reports to be presented to concerned international organisations in connection with the measures taken to combat trafficking in persons.
5. Following up the implementation by the concerned government departments of the recommendations and directives included in the conventions and protocols related to combating trafficking in persons of which the Kingdom is a party, and submitting a report in this regard to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Minister of Social Development shall issue a Ministerial Order with respect to the organisation of centres for sheltering the victims of trafficking in persons, and determining the specifications and standards for approving the entities to be entrusted with providing accommodation thereto and the rules for carrying out inspections of sheltering centres and accommodation of the victims of such crimes.
The Ministers, each in his respective capacity, shall implement the provisions of this Law, which shall come into effect from the day following the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.