The UAE's Draft Labor Law: Human Rights Watch’s Comments and Recommendations

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently considering revisions to its main labor law. Like other countries in the Gulf, the UAE is heavily reliant upon the labor of migrant workers, primarily from South Asia. According to figures from 2005, 95 percent of the UAE’s labor pool, some 2.7 million workers, are migrants, many of whom work in the construction and domestic service industries. Meaningful reforms in the new labor law would have a significant and positive impact across South Asia and the Gulf and, if the final version of the law integrates key labor protections, it could become a leading model for the region.