Civil society organizations

National institutions and civil society organisations are a cornerstone of Bahrain’s development and progress, which enhance the Kingdom’s position regionally and internationally. The government seeks to realise the vision of HM the King in promoting a culture of rights and duties, promoting the values of justice, transparency, and accountability, and ensuring fundamental freedoms and rights. It seeks to have citizens who exercise their rights freely and responsibly, and perform their national duties in a community that is built on tolerance, coexistence, mutual respect, and acceptance of other religions, races, and sects.

The number of NGOs in Bahrain has increased to more than 640, including charitable, social, human rights, women’s, youth, and professional organisations, as well as associations for foreign communities. Of these, there are 11 national NGOs and institutions, including those specialised in monitoring human rights.

The Kingdom of Bahrain continues the process of reform and development in accordance with the Constitution and the National Action Charter. Among its most prominent efforts and achievements are the establishment of independent human rights institutions such as:

  • The National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR) in 2009.
  • The launching of the first ombudsman in the Arab region.
  • Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission (PDRC).
  • A Special Investigation Unit at the Public Prosecution.
  • The Human Rights Committees of the Council of Representatives and Shura Council.
  • The Council of the Arab League, at its 140th session in September 2013, approved a Bahraini proposal to establish an Arab Court of Human Rights and to select Manama as its headquarters.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is taking steps to ensure the effectiveness of civil society organisations, including working on a new law that enhances the contributions of these organisations and ensures their rights.

The role of NGOs and civil society organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic

These organisations have an important role in protecting the rights of workers and different segments of society during the current stage of combating the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). They have supported national efforts by monitoring the situation on the ground and spreading awareness.


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Content Last Updated: 26 Feb, 2023

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