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UN group evaluates human rights situation

posted on 11/10/2009: 779 views

The UAE labour law protects the rights and obligations of local and expatriate parties in the private sector, equally and indiscriminately, a top justice official told a United Nations' High Commissioner of Human Rights visiting delegation last week.

"The labour law protects the rights, duties and obligations of local and expatriate employees and employers of the private sector without any form of discrimination or racism … expatriate workers represent the biggest stake of the UAE's private sector. The Dubai Courts Department [DCD] has made the life of low-paid labourers easier by excusing them from paying labour court fees…this move was taken as a clear indication of our special interest in labourers' sector," the DCD's Deputy General Director Judge Mohammad Yousuf Ahmad told the five-member delegation of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (HCHR).

Judge Yousuf, Chief Judge Jasem Baqer, Chairman of Dubai Courts of First Instance, and senior DCD officials held meetings with the HCHR delegation which was headed by the Commissioner's Special Rapporteur Githu Muigai.

The delegation visited the UAE to hold talks on different issues concerning racial discrimination, xenophobia and other topics. The parties discussed the best means that the judicial sector in the UAE, generally, and Dubai, particularly, advocate and implement to combat racial discrimination and intolerance.

Judge Yousuf stressed that the UAE combats and rejects all forms of discrimination and racism.

As the delegation's visit concluded, Muigai expressed his sincere appreciation at the cooperation and openness demonstrated by the UAE Government during his mission between October 4 and 8.

He appreciated that the Government had recognised the need to address these issues and had taken steps accordingly.

The HCHR expert encouraged the Government to continue treating these issues as a matter of priority to eradicate all sorts of discrimination. In addition, the UN Special Rapporteur Najat Majeed Ma'alla will visit the UAE and discuss with concerned officials issues surrounding child slavery, pornography and trafficking and child protection systems from Sunday.

She will meet federal and local officials along with members of the justice system in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. Her agenda also includes meetings with UN representatives, non-governmental organisations and visits to shelters and centres that deal with child victims of exploitation and abuse.

The HCHR delegation also discussed with DCD officials the issue of employment in the UAE, a matter of great importance to human rights groups as the country's residents are from more than 200 nationalities with different backgrounds and cultures therefore representing a clear test of the extent of equality between members of the society, especially in terms of justice. – Gulf News


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