• The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has continued to arbitrarily detain individuals it perceives as threat to national security. UAE security forces continued to torture detainees in pretrial detention. A new counterterrorism law, often invoked to prosecute dissidents, could pose a greater threat to the government’s critics and rights activists. Labor abuses persisted, as migrant construction workers still face serious exploitation, and female domestic workers remain excluded from regulations that apply to workers in other sectors.
  • الإمارات العربية المتحدة، دبي. عاملة منزلية وافدة مع طفل تحت لوحة إعلانية في الإمارات العربية المتحدة.
    The UAE authorities in 2014 aggressively restricted the rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly, cracking down on dissidents and anyone considered a threat to national security, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. The authorities also failed to investigate credible allegations that security forces arbitrarily detained and tortured dissidents.

Reports

  • Abuse and Exploitation of Female Migrant Domestic Workers in the United Arab Emirates
  • A Progress Report on Institutional Commitments to Address Abuses of Migrant Workers on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island
  • Protection of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia and the Middle East

United Arab Emirates

  • Jan 29, 2015
    The UAE authorities in 2014 aggressively restricted the rights of freedom of expression, association, and assembly, cracking down on dissidents and anyone considered a threat to national security, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015. The authorities also failed to investigate credible allegations that security forces arbitrarily detained and tortured dissidents.
  • Dec 18, 2014
    The kafala visa-sponsorship system that is widely, though not uniformly, used across the Gulf bars most migrant domestic workers from moving to a new job before their original contract ends without their employer’s consent, trapping many in abusive situations. The kafala combined with inadequate labor law protections, create conditions ripe for exploitation and abuse of domestic workers.
  • Dec 11, 2014
    Jordanian authorities have broken reform promises by arresting and charging activists for speech-related offenses. At least three activists were arrested in recent months and charged with speech-related offenses under vague terrorism legislation and are being tried in Jordan’s State Security Court.
  • Dec 3, 2014
    The United Arab Emirates’ deeply flawed new counterterrorism law will enable the courts to convict peaceful government critics as terrorists and sentence them to death.
  • Dec 1, 2014
  • Nov 25, 2014
  • Nov 24, 2014
  • Nov 6, 2014
    Sex trafficking gets a lot of attention, as it should. It’s a horrific crime. But trafficking in forced labor is also a grave abuse that has even more victims.
  • Oct 30, 2014
    In Geneva over the next two weeks, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will play an influential role on the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Yet Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented how within the UAE migrant domestic workers are exploited by employers and recruiters, while government policies create conditions which foster abuse and forced labour.
  • Oct 24, 2014
    In December 2012, Sadiyah A. (her real name is withheld for her security) migrated from the Philippines to the United Arab Emirates to work as a babysitter. One year later, she sat before me in Abu Dhabi telling me that the job turned out to be no golden opportunity.