Welfare and the National Charter
On the tenth anniversary of the National Action Charter, BHRM
issued a statement in which it stated that the Charter contains
general principles that protect citizens’ rights. These include
political participation through nominations and elections: “all
citizens, men and women, have the right to participate in public
affairs and politics, including the right to nominate and elect”.
The statement added that citizens also have economic and social
rights as well as the right to live in dignity without humiliation,
oppression and torture. The National Charter protects Bahraini citizens
against: arbitrary detention, illegal house search, restriction
on the right to freedom of movement, ill-treatment and torture,
and restriction on the right to choose a residence.
The statement also added that the National Action Charter put
into place the theoretical framework for legislative reforms in
the country, and hence reduced tension and opened new horizons for
citizens. Citizens were able to participate in three consecutive
council and parliamentary elections. Trade Unions, civil society
institutions and political parties were established and the margin
of freedom grew as a result of the reforms. The statement also stressed
the importance of civil society institutions, which the Charter
legitimized and encouraged due to their important role in democratic
The statement continued to say that the Charter created a human
rights atmosphere, which is continually expanding, and has lead
to the adoption of legal and legislative amendments. Additionally,
the Charter resulted in Bahrain signing international human rights
conventions, in order to promote human rights. BHRM also called
upon citizens to read the Charter so that they understand their
rights. This will reinvigorate civil society institutions and political
activism in order to achieve qualitative progress in Bahrain.
Finally, BHRM stressed the need to revive some issues concerning
the economic and social rights, which directly affect the welfare
of citizens. The Government is obliged to monitor the performance
of ministries, especially during economic crisis and inflation.
There is a great need for the Government to subsidise basic goods,
increase wages and take care of citizens with special needs.