Manama: Bahrain has denied reports of the existence of a human trafficking network involving members of the Indian community in the kingdom.

The Nationality, Passport and Residence Affairs (NPRA) said the reports were not true and stressed full commitment to international anti-human trafficking conventions and related national legislations regarding entry regulations into Bahrain.

The NPRA said in a statement that entry into Bahrain is possible through various types of visiting visas, in addition to work visas that are provided in cooperation with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority.

All procedures for issuing visas have been approved in accordance to the rights of individuals, including legal actions against violators of related-rules and laws, NPRA added.

Last week, an Indian official claimed that women domestic helpers from Andhra Pradesh were kept in jail in Gulf states for overstaying their visas or after attempting to flee abusive employers, and called for action to address the issue.

“Necessary steps should be initiated to bring them to their native areas safely by providing free travel and necessary visa documents at the earliest possible [opportunity],” Palle Raghunatha Reddy Andhra Pradesh’s minister for non-resident Indian welfare wrote in a letter to India’s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj.

“Instructions should be issued to Indian embassy officials in Gulf countries to interfere in the matter and provide necessary help in terms of food, clothing and shelter.”

The minister claimed that 25 women were currently in Gulf jails and the Indian government would send ministers to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain next month to investigate.

Indians make up the largest community of foreign workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, mostly non-skilled workers in the construction and service sectors.

Reports said that Indian government figures show there are around six million Indian migrants in the GCC, the loose alliance of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.