Calls for the International Labor Organization to intervene to stop UAE violations against foreign workers
The International Campaign to boycott the Emirates (ICBU) today called on the International Labor Organization to intervene in general with the authorities in the UAE to ensure that the necessary measures are taken to protect foreign workers in preparing the site of the World Expo scheduled for Dubai this year.
The Paris-based international campaign said in a press release that the UAE is violating the measures called for by the International Labor Organization regarding the need to “protect workers in the workplace” in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She added that the organization should send an investigation committee urgently to the site of preparing the Dubai Expo, be aware of the reality of widespread neglect of foreign workers, especially of Asian nationalities, and press the UAE authorities to stop this.
The international campaign emphasized that the Asian workers face ugly conditions of abuse and exploitation in the United Arab Emirates, and they are particularly vulnerable to the infection, especially after the official announcement of the infection of one of the exhibition employees.
The determination of the Expo 2020 administration in Dubai to continue to work despite the threats the workers may face constitutes an extension of the black record in the UAE’s disgraceful dealings with foreign workers and the abuse of the most basic rights to ensure an appropriate work environment.
The international campaign warned that the UAE forced thousands of Asian workers to continue their hard work and in crowded and unsafe societies to equip the Expo facilities despite the risks of contracting Corona virus that calls for immediate international intervention.
The International Campaign for the Boycott of the Emirates (ICBU) re-invites workers who wish to travel to the Emirates to avoid this, regardless of the financial temptations that they will be exposed to deception and being forced to work in breach of the agreed upon terms and lower salaries, as well as conditions of slavery and flagrant violations.
It also called on the international campaign, the United Nations and international human rights organizations to investigate the violations of the UAE employees and expatriate workers against the background of the Coronavirus crisis and take measures to hold it accountable and impose a boycott of its activities.
Yesterday, The Independent highlighted the danger of the outbreak of the Coronavirus among workers in the UAE, especially those who are preparing the site for the Dubai Expo.
With the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic continuing around the world – after more than 20,000 people have been killed to date – concerns have been raised among industry and safety experts that thousands of migrants will be at risk due to limited health care, poor working conditions and exploitative work systems.
The newspaper warned that the Geneva Council for Rights and Freedoms sent a message to the World Health Organization calling for urgent measures to be taken to protect migrants working in the UAE from infection.
The Geneva Council has warned that migrants caught in cycles of abuse and exploitation in the United Arab Emirates are particularly vulnerable.
He pointed out that under the sponsorship system that links many migrants to their employers, workers are trapped in contracts that limit their access to health care, their restriction to overcrowded housing and their freedom of movement.
The Geneva Council said that these “vulnerable” workers are more at risk of getting infected with the Coronavirus and should not be treated differently with other groups, adding that “more needs to be done to protect them.”
This will require urgent action to stop the ongoing work, especially when it is done in overcrowded compounds where the infection spreads easily.
Expo 2020 Dubai found itself under close scrutiny by human rights groups and building unions in recent months, in light of its criticism of its management for ignoring requests to investigate worker abuse.
The Geneva Council said that with the continuation of the event to be held next October, the preparation of facilities has depended heavily on migrant workers suffering from bad practices and discriminatory treatment.
The human rights organization urged the World Health Organization to encourage the UAE to protect the health and safety of those individuals who continue to work in Expo 2020 Dubai and other projects, as the rest of the countries tend to close due to the spread of Corona viruses.
The Geneva Council also called for improved monitoring and examination of workers who move between countries or between jobs.