• 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.
  • Drawn by the promise of jobs, thousands of men from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal are working on Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates.
    Serious concerns about workers’ rights have not been resolved for a high-profile project in Abu Dhabi that will host branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums and a campus of New York University (NYU), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These institutions should make their continued engagement with the Saadiyat Island project contingent on the developers’ commitment to more serious enforcement of worker protections and the compensation of workers who suffered abuses, including those arbitrarily deported after they went on strike.

Reports

United Arab Emirates

  • Feb 19, 2015
    Jordan’s State Security Court sentenced a senior opposition figure on February 15, 2015, to 18 months in prison for criticizing the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Feb 17, 2015
    We write in advance of the 62nd Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its review of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This submission addresses articles 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 16 of the Convention.
  • Feb 10, 2015
    Serious concerns about workers’ rights have not been resolved for a high-profile project in Abu Dhabi that will host branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums and a campus of New York University (NYU), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. These institutions should make their continued engagement with the Saadiyat Island project contingent on the developers’ commitment to more serious enforcement of worker protections and the compensation of workers who suffered abuses, including those arbitrarily deported after they went on strike.
  • 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