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Migrant Domestic Workers Beaten, Exploited, Trapped in United Arab Emirates: HRW

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Migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates are physically abused and exploited amid subjection to unfavorable work conditions, a statement published on the website of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Thursday said.

MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates are physically abused and exploited amid subjection to unfavorable work conditions, a statement published on the website of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Thursday said.

"Migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are beaten, exploited, and trapped in forced labor situations. The UAE government, about to take up an influential new role in the International Labour Organization (ILO), has failed to adequately protect female domestic workers – many of them from the Philippines – from abuse by employers and recruiters," the statement said.

According to the organization, the UAE's visa sponsorship system, known as kafala, and absence of labor law safeguards have played their role in the abuse that migrant domestic workers, mostly from Asia and Africa, experienced. The contractual obligations, the organization noted, were such that left migrants little to no opportunity to change their jobs.

"The UAE's sponsorship system chains domestic workers to their employers and then leaves them isolated and at risk of abuse behind the closed doors of private homes. With no labor law protections for domestic workers, employers can, and many do, overwork, underpay, and abuse these women," HRW Middle East women's rights researcher said in the statement.

Although the UAE made some revisions this June to the standard domestic worker labor contract, it still bypasses the number of hours that migrants have to work, HRW noted.

The organization also stated that migrants were forced to abuse even when they approached their recruitment agencies to get help.

Tags:
human rights violations, Human Rights Watch, Philippines, United Arab Emirates
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