The abuse and exploitation of migrant workers in the UAE
Migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates constitute an estimated 88.5% of the federation’s overall population, with the majority originating from South Asia and Southeast Asia. While a small percent of workers are employed in skilled labour, the majority work in the semi-skilled and low-skilled sector and are often subjected to exploitation and abuse by their employers.
Those who fall under the Kafala System, excluded from the UAE’s Labour Law, are particularly vulnerable and often face passport confiscation and the withholding of wages by their employer, and extortionate recruitment fees from their countries of origin.
Despite the introduction of new measures having been made in past years to improve the situation for migrant workers, the reluctance of the state to implement them sufficiently has meant that the rights and wellbeing of migrant workers are still under threat.