ABU DHABI DIALOGUES ON PROTECTION OF WORKER RIGHTS PRODUCE AGREEMENT—BUT it’s just a start!
By Kevin A. Stoda
This week in Abu Dhabi 20 nations met to discuss ways to improve labor protections for the great number of foreign workers in the UAE and other neighboring countries. These countries were Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Yemen.
The agreement is an initial step in a long journey to improve the rights and legal system in the Gulf region, specifically in the area of protecting laborers from Asia, especially those from South Asia.
Here are the main facets of the new agreement. They focus on creating a strong partnership among the twenty states involved:
(1) Enhance knowledge in the areas of the labor market trends, skills profiles, temporary contractual laborers and remittance policies and flows anther interplay with development in the region.
(2) Build capacity for effective matching of labor demand and supply.
(3) Prevent illegal recruitment practices and promoting welfare and protection measures for contractual workers, supportive of their well being and preventing their exploitation at origin and destination.
(4) Developing a framework for a comprehensive approach to managing the entire cycle of temporary contractual mobility that foster the mutual interests of countries and destination of the laborers.