Kathmandu, Aug 24: The Global Alliance Against Trafficked in Women (GAATW) Thailand in collaboration with Dubai based Middle East Centre for Training and Development (MECTD) conducted a four-day event in Dubai to better understand the support mechanisms to curtailing human trafficking and safeguarding the rights of foreign migrant workers working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
During the event, members of GAATW, those who working against human trafficking and safe migration in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka enhanced their knowledge on how state and non-state actors in UAE, including respective diplomatic missions engage in addressing the human trafficking and labour migration challenges faced by the migrants.
The delegates from the Indian subcontinent held discussions with fellow countryman in order to assess actors involved in safe labour migration from pre-departure to post-arrival. Subsequent to meetings with migrant communities, the delegates visited the respective diplomatic missions and social welfare groups to understanding their role in supporting trafficked distressed migrant workers.
In addition, the delegates visited Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWC), a non-profit entity that addresses issues of trafficked victims with state and non-actors in UAE. Bandana Pattniyak , International Coordinator of the Alliance, said that the Alliance team held discussion with UAE government officials about their initiatives to protecting the rights and safety of workers.
She also said that “Representatives from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are monitoring the organizations working in the UAE. We have been collecting the firsthand information on the working of UAE government to protect rights and safety of workers there. In particularly, the discussion held with the Dubai Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs (PCLA) and private company representatives who have been involved in ethical recruitment enabled delegates to understand how information fabricated in the social media resulted in migrant workers subjected to human trafficking.
The GAATW delegates has expressed concern that the United Arab Emirates, which is the choice of most of the destination countries remained transit for human trafficking. They also underlined about workers leveraging wages and lack of understating on redressal mechanisms. Due to being transit country, many fraudulent agents have been luring workers to land UAE on visit visa and send them to other countries. However, it was impossible for them. The team concluded that it is necessary to spread public awareness about the laws and rights of workers to the potential migrant workers from pre-departure to post-arrival stages.
Since Nepal has imposed restrictions on domestic workers in gulf countries, Nepali migrant workers have not been able to return to their homes, so they have requested the government of Nepal to lift the restrictions on labor and make labor rights safe and orderly.