The report, "Building Towers, Cheating Workers",
highlighted what it called "serious abuses of
migrant workers" and the Government sponsored illicit slavery
market which prevails in United Arab Emirates.
The report documents abuses against migrant
construction workers in the UAE based on violations
of international law as well as UAE law.
The plight of tens of thousands of 'temporary
workers', (called as third country nationals) who
are allegedly badly treated in the United Arab
Emirates, has gained attention long back and was
accused the Emirates of building prosperity on
In a letter to Human Rights Watch of September 28,
2006, the government of the UAE argued that “workers
hosted by the UAE and other GCC (Gulf Cooperation
Council) countries cannot be considered migrant
workers, as they work on a temporary basis and
according to them all expatriate workers in the
country are easily 'deportable non-citizens'.
In reality the same view is applicable to all non
citizens residing in UAE whether he or she hold a
investor's / business visa of the United Arab Emirates!
Click Here to view the UAE Government Response to Human Rights Watch’s Letter.
View the HRW Report "Building
Towers, Cheating Workers"
The United Nations International Convention on the
Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and
Members of Their Families (Migrant Workers
Convention, adopted December 18, 1990) entered into
force July 1, 2003.
The term “migrant worker,” refers to a person who is
engaged “in remunerated activity in a State of which
he or she is not a national.
The Convention protects the rights of migrant
workers and their families without distinctions such
as sex, race, religion or national origin,
nationality, age, economic position, property,
marital status, birth or other status.
Freedom to leave any State; the right not to be held
in slavery, servitude or forced or compulsory labour;
effective protection against violence and
intimidation by both public and private actors;
protection from arbitrary detention; the prohibition
of imprisonment on the grounds of failure to fulfill
a contractual obligation; the illegality of anyone
other than an authorized public official from
confiscating identity and other documents; the
prohibition of unfavourable remuneration and
conditions of work in comparison with nationals and
the right to equality with nationals of the State
before courts and tribunals.