Workers Rights in Dubai: Infringement of human rights
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Published: Mon, 10 Apr 2017
There are worse condition of workers and infringement of human rights in Dubai.
According to a survey report the main and important issues are the worse treatment with the workers, violation of the rights of workers/labours in Dubai. Some human rights organizations of Dubai have complained about infringement of human rights and, consideration of workers as slaves and problem of payment of recruitment fee. In 60 years Dubai has become a cosmopolitan city from fishing village and growing to become a worldwide city .In past Dubai’s economy was based on oil industry now it is generating its revenue highly from tourism, real states and financial transactions (Buckley 2012). In Dubai human rights are based on the enacted law, in which it is mentioned that all people should be treated equally apart from their race, or social status. But people of Dubai are violating the laws by not giving rights to the workers who work so hard for them honestly.
Many labours or workers in the city were supposed to live in the good conditions which were illustrated by Human Rights Watch but they are forced to live in worse conditions because of their bad employers. Other bad practices they are doing with the workers that they are not giving rights to the workers to raise their voice for the sake of their own basic needs, workers are mistreated by their owners, and their lives are in miserable condition, seven to eight workers are compel to live in one room apartment and then they will be able to send money to their families, sometimes workers do not get their salaries at the end of the month, workers are not allowed to switch their jobs if they do so they can lose their job, workers are bound to work excessively , workers often work from day till night with no days off to rest so that they are not be able to have relaxation time, workers get insufficient food, some workers are threatened by their owners(some employers threat their workers if they do not listen to them they will kill them) , premature termination is also a big problems faced by workers because there is no job security for the workers (Smith 2010). These problems have increased a lot and it is become important to take some significant steps and serious action for the protection of the worker rights.
Injustices in Dubai with the labours have attracted the attention of many Human Rights groups, and these groups have tried to convince the Dubai Government to take important steps for the workers’ rights and also allow them to form the labour union. But the Government of Dubai has refuted all the allegations regarding to the labour injustice or the violation of human rights and said that the Human Rights Watch’s allegations were totally misguided (Connell et al 2009). In the end of March 2006 the Government hence allow taking steps for the construction of labour union and then allow forming labour union. In September 2005 Labour Minister instructed one company to pay unpaid salaries of the workers in 24 hours after 24 hours workers protested and they published the name of felonious company.
In 2013 the Government finally reform new labour regulations with the help of Labour Ministry for the workers. In which it is stated that the employer or owner is not allowed to impose work on the worker or labour unless or until his/she has been agreed upon, and the owner is also banned to give difficult and dangerous task to the employee that can threaten the safety, health and dignity and honour of the worker, new rules also stated that employers have to pay the workers’ salary at the end of each month some additional benefits in the form of cash and cheques should also be provided to the worker, the employers are also imposed to give workers at least daily rest of nine hours per day and a day off so that workers can have relaxation time and they can enjoy their lives too, owners are not allowed to ‘rent out’ their workers, the regulations made by Government also stated that workers can get one month leave after giving two years of services. Regulation contains rules for workers as well that their duty is to take care of the owners’ property (Obay 2009), they should keep secrets of the employer and the place where they work, they should not refuse the given task or leave the job without any valid reason and should follow the rules and regulations and should not involve in any criminal activity which can give harm.
The regulations also contains strict penalties for workers and employers both who violate them or try to violate them. Employers who will not follow the rules will give 2,000 dirham as a penalty and will not allowed hiring any worker, while workers who violate the regulation will be fine 2,000 dirham and will not be allow working in Dubai. There are some advantages and disadvantages of these policies; the first advantage is that the workers are now getting their rights to work; they are having freedom of speech through which they can talk about their problem freely, they can get salaries on time, they can get incentives too, if they don’t get salaries on time they can protest against it and there are laws which can protect their rights, now they are no more slaves because there are rules which can protect their dignity, now workers are not compel or bound to do illegal and dangerous work which can risk their life and health, workers can enjoy their lives by utilizing their free time (Vora 2011).
All of these rules sound good but there are some disadvantages the first and foremost disadvantage is that the Government has made many regulations to protect the worker rights but there are many people who violate those rules for the sake of their personal interests it is very necessary to monitor the behaviour of the employers with their workers, but it is difficult for the Government to keep an eye on each and every one. Decision- maker i.e. obviously a Government had made policies or regulations for the workers but they should take certain steps to the implementations of those steps first step is to aware every one about rules and regulations by giving authority to the responsible people area wise, those responsible person would conduct workshops, seminars and interact with the people and will brief them about the regulation policies and penalties of violating those regulations, Secondly involve police and ask them to take complaints seriously whether it’s from employer side or from worker side, Third make area consular who can keep eye on peoples’ activities and they complaint to police about the person who violate the regulation. All these three parts should have connection with each other for the betterment of the people.
The surveys shows that still workers in Dubai are suffering from extreme exploitation problems with excessively workings hours and unpaid salaries. Although Dubai is a member of ILO i.e. International Labour Organization but they are putting their reputations are at risks because of violation of human rights laws. This means that they need to make some changes in their certain policies which they have made for the human rights or workers’ rights. The Dubai Government knows that it is facing some difficult issues like reforming of its policies for the human rights, which needs to acclimatize to high pays and protection of government. The Ministry of Labour should need to take some measure steps to tackle these kinds of situations and should change policies which can be easily implemented and can be abide by the organizations for the benefits of their workers.
The policies which Government has made for the sake of human rights needs to be some change means it should be more practical. There is a rule that employer cannot give dangerous task to the worker that can risk workers’ life and workers have right to disobey the order given by the employer, this rule need some change like in this rule the government has to mentioned the criteria that which task is dangerous or risky for the worker or it can give harm on the basis of it one can follow the regulations, second rule is that owner cannot impose work on worker unless or until he/she has been ready to work this rule also need some changes in this condition again criteria is not mentioned and the workers can take bad advantage from it, there is one rule for workers is that they should take care of the employer’s property again criteria is not mentioned in this rule the owner can take disadvantage from this rule and can use it for the personal interest and can ask the worker to do his/her personal work which can be illegal and the worker are compel to do so. Unions and human rights organization have criticised a lot the policies failure of human rights because mostly workers are still paying recruitment fee to secure their jobs in the organizations which is a very bad example. And it is the biggest issue that there is a shockingly rise in the recruitment fees.
Main construction companies of Dubai are also failed to follow rules made by the Government and are unable to protect the rights and safety of the labours or workers. The Dubai Government should take some practical steps with the Labour Ministry to reduce this problem and should try to make a good image of Dubai. Government should start to tackle the key issues like focusing on the issue of recruitment fees, payment of wages, workers’ basic health problems, and workers’ staying problems because seven-eight workers live in one room apartment. For handling all these major issues which is not good for cosmopolitan city like Dubai’s image. Government should need to create better incentive programs for the workers that can benefit them, government should make a ‘wage council’ for reviewing the pay from national level to the market level, they should trained their workers by conducting different workshops and arranging seminars and make it compulsory to all the organizations to make their workers to attend those workshops and seminars so that it can benefit to workers as well as to the organization, the Government should establish a commission which duty is to investigate the complaints about the worst condition of the workers in the city, disallow the companies to do business with recruitment agencies, who charge fees from workers for employment contract, government should make law to investigate those companies who involve in violating the labour law, there should be a committee who can have the qualitative and quantitative data of workers’ riots, injuries and deaths at working place so that government can take some serious actions to deal and address those issues and can have contingency plan to deal with issues like them, government should significantly increase the inspectors who can be responsible for supervising the behaviour of the employers with the workers or labours, there should be another committee whose duty is to educate and inform the new workers about their rights under the law made by government. These are few recommendations which can suited to deal this problem and can be helpful to resolve this problem hopefully.
Dubai has made an impressive progress during six decades, and it is also progressing in particular areas like improvement in the rights for children, improvement in the living standard, improvement in education, with all those improvement it needs to work hard on it’s one sector specially that is Improvement in the law of Workers’ Right and implementation of the laws of worker’s right laws. Although it’s a tough task to make improvement in this sector suddenly, but gradually improvement can be seen by working honestly on it and by abiding and implementation of the rules and regulations made by government and the labour ministry
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