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Dubai’s ill-treated laborers back in the limelight

Dubai’s ill-treated laborers back in the limelight

As the issue continues to be a hot topic of the media, is anyone looking at any concrete solutions?

October 9, 2008 1:36 by

The issue of laborers slogging away in the depths of Dubai’s darkness is a well-reported issue. The Guardian just re-visited the topic with a rather long story and a rather loud headline quote which reads “We need slaves to build monuments.

The article goes on to list the various problems that laborers in the UAE face: the poor working conditions, the low wages, the appalling housing situation and so on. It also discusses racism in Dubai.
But as a reader of the Dubai Media Observer blog points out, the article “does not reveal the people or companies behind the problem, proposes no solution and explains nothing as to how the situation came about.”

Dubai labor issues have been debated long and hard by local and international media. And it is a fact that solutions to the problem have been rare. And the inflow of more and more laborers into the city continues.

But answers come only when the culprit can be identified. So the issue boils down to: Who is really responsible for the problem? Is it the construction companies hiring the laborers? The HR department of the company in particular? The Government, for failing to put more pressure in employers? Or the laborers themselves, who haven’t taken a unified stand on the issue?

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1 Comment

  1. Nadeem Qureshi on October 13, 2008 8:19 am

    Clearly the responsibility rests with the Dubai Govt. and more specifically the respected ruler of Dubai. Prince Mohammad has been a pioneer in many areas. Now he needs to turn his attention to this issue which is seriously damaging the image of Dubai around the world. A modern society means not just gleaming new buildings. It means having in place the legal ‘software’ that lets all of its citizens – rich or poor, locals or expatriates – live with honour and dignity. If Prince Mohammad can ensure this then he would have created a place for Dubai in the community of nations.


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