Young Nepalese Migrant Worker Commits Suicide At His Workplace in UAE
A 23-year-old Nepali construction worker has been found hanging at an industrial site in the Emirate of Sharjah, UAE, in what police officials believe to be a suicide.
It is reported that an Asian workmate had tried to free his colleague and revive him at the scene, though the young migrant worker was already dead by the time he had discovered him.
This latest case forms part of a much broader trend concerning cases of suicides among the migrant worker population in the UAE. A report conducted by a Ugandan parliamentary committee in October found that in this year alone 35 Ugandan migrant workers in the UAE had been driven to take their own lives as a result of the dreadful working conditions they were forced to endure in the Emirates
Furthermore, in 2014 the Indian embassy reported that from 2007 to 2013, 700 Indian migrant workers had committed suicide in the UAE, adding that there had been at least 100 such cases every year since 2011.
Migrant workers, largely of South Asian origin, account for over half the population in the UAE and have no political or economic rights, leaving them especially vulnerable to mistreatment at the hands of Emirati authorities. The appalling working and living conditions that they are forced to endure have long been documented by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
The plight of migrant workers begins in their home countries, where they pay extremely high fees to recruitment agents in order to secure a job in the UAE. Once they have reached the Emirates, their passports get taken away by their employers, leaving them stranded in the country and trapped in abusive working conditions. Under the kafala system, a sponsor system where the employer pays for the visas of their workers, migrant workers are especially vulnerable as their employers have complete control over them.
This latest case must be understood within this broader framework of systematic exploitation and abuse that the migrant population are forced to endure in the UAE. It is a damning indictment of the Emirati government that in one of the wealthiest nations on earth, it refuses to guarantee decent wages and basic protections to the majority of its workers within its borders.
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- For more information on the case, please see http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/crime/worker-found-hanging-in-sharjah-industrial-area-1.2127708