We are writing to you in advance of International Migrants Day, December 18, to draw your attention to the abuse and exploitation of workers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait.
In advance of the upcoming EU-GCC Ministerial Meeting we write to request that human rights form a significant part of your dialogue with your GCC counterparts. We specifically call on you to make unmistakably clear that progress in strengthening EU-GCC economic and security ties will not be possible without measurable progress in GCC countries, and in particular in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman with regard to the continuing harassment and persecution of human rights defenders in those countries and systematic violations of freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.
Human Rights Watch writes to urge Dr. Ihsanoglu to use his position as Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to support measures at the upcoming Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference in Dakar, Senegal on March 13-14 that would improve and strengthen the 1999 OIC Convention on Combating International Terrorism.
We are writing on December 18, 2007, International Migrants’ Day, to call upon you to implement key reforms to respect and uphold migrants’ rights. On January 21-22, 2008, the United Arab Emirates will host the latest round of the “Colombo Process,” a series of regional consultative processes focused on Asian contract migrant workers. We believe this meeting could provide an important stepping stone to establishing regional minimum standards regarding recruitment, employment, and protection of migrant workers.