Brooklyn Journal of International Law

First Page



Despite a rapidly growing economy and a tremendous accumulation of wealth, the United Arab Emirates has facilitated many human rights abuses against migrant workers from impoverished countries throughout the world. The UAE’s system of recruitment, payment and living conditions put already vulnerable populations in considerably worse economic conditions by exploiting their labor and creating significant barriers to challenging the unjust employment system. After being sold on the idea that migrating to the UAE would bring a semblance of economic advancement, many migrants find themselves in inhumane working conditions and debt from having to pay excessive amounts of money to recruitment agencies. Lacking legal protection and morale, these migrant workers are left with the international protection of laws like the Universal Declarations of Human Rights, and they rely on international non-governmental organizations to pressure the UAE government to provide protection for this segment of the population. This Note will focus on the employment structure of the UAE, detailing its defective labor law system and the resulting human rights abuses that occur within the migrant population of the country. It will conclude with a suggestion to involve the international community with an integral role in assisting the UAE to develop structurally adequate labor laws that comply with internationally accepted human rights standards.