Exploitation of Migrant Workers in the United Arab Emirates

This entry is part of 36 in the series 20071129_Issue

PASUMAI THAAYAGAM


Exploitation of Migrant Workers in the United Arab Emirates

PASUMAI THAAYAGAM urges Indian Ambassador in the UAE to take actions to protect Tamils.

Chennai, November 26: The Indian Ambassador to the UAE Mr. Talmiz Ahmed visited Chennai on Monday (26.11.2007). As part of the visit he met concerned NGO’s with matters pertaining to the Tamil Community in United Arab Emirates. On this occasion Mr. R. Arul, Secretary of Pasumai Thaayagam (NGO in special consultative status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations) requested him to take actions to protect the Tamils in UAE. In a Memorandum to the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Mr. R. Arul requested:

“1. Enhance labor departments of Indian embassy in the UAE to assist migrant workers from India whose rights are violated by their employers.

Lack of civil society organizations, unions, and labor advocacy groups in the UAE means that migrant workers do not have access to any institutional resources when their rights are violated and are unable to self-organize to address the abuses. The embassy of India should step in to fill this void. The embassy should provide Indian nationals with guidance, translators, and legal assistance to pursue their complaints with UAE authorities. The embassy should appoint adequate numbers of Tamil speaking staffs in the embassy.

2. Raise formally with your counterparts in the UAE the importance of the UAE government’s establishing an independent commission to investigate and report on labor-related abuses of migrant workers.

The UAE economy in general is highly dependent on migrant workers. India, as an economy of sending country, is also benefiting greatly from the migrant workers’ remittances home. The UAE and Indian government should work cooperatively to ensure that mutual economic benefits are accompanied by improvements in workers’ rights.

3. Urge the UAE’s Ministry of Labor to fully implement its labor laws and to hold violators fully accountable under its laws.

4. Request immediate and full disclosure of causes of death when Indian citizens suffer fatal injuries, and regular reports of all workplace injuries suffered by Indian citizens.”

The meeting was held at the Conference Hall of the Industries Department, Namakkal Kavingar Maligai, Secretariat, Chennai -9.


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