It encourages discrimination, says Rajab Sandeep Singh Grewal Staff Reporter

A local human rights group has blamed the Minister of Labour for using migrant workers as scapegoats for economic failure of the authorities. “The statements made by Dr Majeed Al Alawi encourage discrimination. How can the migrant workers who leave their families to work here be a threat to us,” said Nabeel Rajab, Vice President of the now defunct Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. The human rights group is asking the minister to retract his statements. There has been public outcry after the statements made by the minister in an interview where he warned of an “Asian tsunami” because of the reliance of “lazy” Gulf Arabs on foreign labour to carry out even the simplest tasks. Rajab said that the authorities are covering up the unemployment situation in the country. “This is an irresponsible statement by Dr Al Alawi which has angered the youth of the Kingdom,” said Rajab. “A lord with billions in Great Britain cleans his own car on a Sunday morning, whereas people of the Gulf look for someone to hand them a glass of water from just a couple of meters away,” Dr. Al Alawi said. “We want someone from the authorities to raise this issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva in April. There should be respect shown towards the rights of the migrant workers to live and work with us in peace,” Rajab said.