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Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

Abusive Elements Remain; Changes Exclude Domestic Workers

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia introduced labor reforms in March 2021 that will ease restrictions and allow some migrant workers to change jobs without employer consent under certain narrow circumstances, Human Rights Watch said today. The reforms,…
Foreign laborers work on the construction of new luxury houses in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, April 2019.
News

Ongoing Repression, Absence of Civil Society Impede Progress

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia recently announced a series of important and necessary reforms, but ongoing repression and a lack of respect for basic rights are major barriers to progress, Human Rights Watch said today. The repression of independent civil…
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on a large billboard in London, England.
News

Forthcoming Kafala Reforms Overlook Vulnerable Domestic Workers

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia should put in place labor and immigration reforms to protect domestic workers, including personal drivers, Human Rights Watch said today. New Human Rights Watch research highlights that domestic workers remain the least…
Foreign laborers work on the construction of new luxury houses in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, April 2019.
News

Migrant Workers Face Abuse and Exploitation

There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and…
Trapped in Employer's home
News

Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

(Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
News
As we approach the last days of the decade, it’s important to reflect on the fight for human rights, the setbacks and successes over the past year in Australia and around the world. Our list isn’t ranked, and far from exhaustive – we…
A Uighur woman picking up school children rides past a picture showing China's President Xi Jinping joining hands with a group of Uighur elders at the Unity New Village in Hotan, in western China's Xinjiang region.
News

Trafficking, Exploitation, Torture, Abusive Prison Conditions

(Addis Ababa) – Ethiopians undertaking the perilous journey by boat across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden face exploitation and torture in Yemen by a network of trafficking groups, Human Rights Watch said today. They also encounter abusive prison…
African migrants receive food and water inside a football stadium in the Red Sea port city of Aden in Yemen, on April 23, 2019. © AFP/Getty Images
News

French Arms Sales to Coalition Raise Complicity Concerns

(Paris) – President Emmanuel Macron of France should raise serious concerns with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince regarding laws-of-war violations in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Faj Attan, a densely populated neighborhood in Sanaa, on August 25, 2017. Two of the buildings were completely destroyed and the third suffered extensive damage. Saudi-led coalition aircraft
News
Under a new agreement Somalia is sending between 600 and 1,000 domestic workers to Saudi Arabia in time for Ramadan. The month of fasting usually brings an increase in the demand for domestic workers as employers often host large iftar meals to break…
News

Construction Firms Should Adopt New Guidelines

(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch today issued a set of guidelines to protect migrant construction workers. International and domestic companies operating in Gulf Cooperation Council countries should adopt the standards to ensure that they and their…
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.
News

But Reforms Exclude Domestic Workers, Discriminate Against Women

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s recent labor reforms may help curb rampant abuses, but they exclude domestic workers and institutionalize bias against women. Since October 18, 2015, when a package of 38 amendments to the Labor Law went into effect, the Labor…
News
King Juan Carlos is visiting Kuwait and Bahrain this week, after Abu Dhabi and Qatar two weeks ago in a series of visits to the gulf region that will also take him to Oman and Saudi Arabia over the next two months. He is traveling with a high-level…
News

Gulf Countries Should Improve Laws, Ratify Treaty

(Beirut) – Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should bring their national laws on domestic workers up to the standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention. All six countries should ratify the…
News

‘Grace Period’ to Correct Employment and Residency Status Expires July 3

UPDATE: On July 2, King Abdullah extended the deadline for migrant workers in the kingdom to regularize their residency and employment status to November 4. (Beirut) – Saudi Arabia should abolish its migrant worker sponsorship system and allow workers in…
News

But Draft Regulations Leave Loopholes for Abuse

(Beirut) – The Saudi Labor Ministry’s proposal to abolish the employer-based “sponsorship” system is a positive step for migrant workers, Human Rights Watch said today.  The system fuels human rights abuses against migrants by tying their legal…
News

Domestic Workers Recruited to Kuwait, Abandoned in Saudi Arabia

(New York) - Saudi Arabia and Kuwait should jointly investigate the abuse and apparent trafficking of Nepalese domestic workers who agree to work in Kuwait but are instead made to work in Saudi Arabia against their will and abandoned there, Human Rights…
News

Investigate and Act to Resolve Labor Violations against Foreign Workers at Saudi Firm

(New York) - Saudi Arabia's labor office should immediately investigate labor violations at Jadawel International's Dhahran and Riyadh compounds, whose workers say they have not been paid for months, Human Rights Watch said today. The residency permits…
Report
Slow Reform Protection of Migrant Domestic Workers in Asia and the Middle East Summary Key Recommendations to Governments of Labor-Receiving Countries To Labor Ministries and Parliaments To …
News

Protection of Migrants’ Rights in 2009

SummaryKey RecommendationsWomen Migrant Domestic WorkersMigrant Construction WorkersRight to HealthDiscriminatory Treatment of MigrantsTreatment of Migrants Crossing Borders2009 Human Rights Watch Reports on Migrants Summary Migrants drowning at sea…