Thursday, 17 May 2012

UAE also looking at changing FDW rights under the law:

UAE - Proposed Law to Benefit Domestic Workers - Important Opportunity to Ensure Legislation Meets International Standards

A proposed United Arab Emirates (UAE) law on domestic workers holds promise for significant improvements in addressing worker abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. While a newspaper has reported about the law, its contents have not been made public, and a number of the reported provisions raise concerns.

Human Rights Watch urged UAE authorities to review the draft law to ensure that all of its provisions adhere to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, and to make the draft public and open for comment. Human Rights Watch has documented the pervasive abuse and mistreatment in the UAE of migrant domestic workers, who work in the country without legislative labor protections.

"The promised provisions of this draft law are an important acknowledgment of the need to protect domestic workers with real laws, and not just the good will of private employers," said Nisha Varia, senior women's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. "The government should ensure that the law complies with all of its obligations to protect domestic workers, including setting maximum work hours and requiring overtime pay, and freedom of movement, particularly on days off from work."

According to a report on May 2, 2012, in a local UAE newspaper, Gulf News, which said that it had obtained a copy of the draft, the proposed law will provide domestic workers aweekly paid day off, two weeks of paid annual leave, holidays, and 15 paid sick days. Unless UAE authorities make the draft law public, it is impossible to verify the extent of protections the new law will offer or whether it incorporates all of the UAE's obligations under international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said.

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