The Bahraini government on Saturday announced a six-month general amnesty for illegal workers to leave the country without penalties.
The amnesty, which will start from July 1 to Dec. 31, will allow illegal workers to either stay by obtaining legal gainful employment or return to their countries without penalties, said Ausamah Al Absi, chief executive officer of the Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA).
Thousands of workers from different countries, who are absent from work, ran away after termination of contract, overstayed on visas or overstayed after termination of contract, will benefit from the amnesty, Al Absi said in a statement.
"We offer this opportunity to all those who may have found themselves on the wrong side of the law to rectify their situation without having to pay penalties or face legal procedures," said Al Absi.
"We aim to remove as many people as possible from this vulnerable position of being illegal and subject to exploitation and give them the opportunity of a new start without financial or legal costs," he added.
Meanwhile, the LMRA plans to open a dedicated anti-human trafficking center this year which is expected to deal with labor issues and further provide victims of trafficking or sexual abuse with a safe, temporary shelter as well as the necessary medical, psychological and social assistance.
Bahrain held general amnesty in 2007 and 2010, during which thousands of undocumented migrant workers left the country.