ImpACT urges UNHRC to sanction inhumane actions against migrant workers in Gulf countries

Migrant workers are stranded in the Gulf countries during the COVID-19 pandemic without adequate funds or aid from their employers, said ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies and IRDG in a joint oral statement at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The speech highlighted violations of the rights of the Nepalese workers in the UAE, including nonpayment of wages and unpaid sick leave, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"They have very little money left to tide them over. Some of them claim that their signatures were affixed to resignation letters without their consent," said Lara Hamidi, researcher for ImpACT International. "Workers are afraid of being stranded in a foreign country and are pleading with their governments to no avail to lift the international flight bans and allow them to return."

Government and companies in the UAE and other Gulf countries must make it their responsibility to provide migrant workers with the assistance they need to keep them and their families safe and healthy, the statement concluded.

ImpACT International and IRDG urged the UNHRC to censure the inhumane actions of governments and companies in countries such as the UAE, causing migrant workers and their families to be abandoned by both their countries and their host nation. The governments in question must be pressured to comply with workers’ contracts and respect their basic rights.

 

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