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Migrant Workers and Their Rights in the United Arab Emirates

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Abstract

Migrant workers have lived in the Arabian Peninsula for more than two centuries. Starting in the 1970s, however, the dynamics of migration flows to the Persian Gulf region took a new twist with the rise in oil prices and the development boom in the region’s newly independent countries. These changing dynamics were most notable in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).1 In 1968, the population of the UAE was 180,000, of which two-thirds were nationals and one-third migrants.2 By 2005, the UAE’s population had risen to 4.1 million, of which about 80 percent were migrants.3 The changing dynamics of migration flows to the region have triggered a debate over labor conditions and practices that violate the rights of migrant workers and subject them to modern day exploitation and abuse.

Keywords

  • Migrant Worker
  • Domestic Worker
  • Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Persons Report
  • Recruitment Agency

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. According to the UAE’s National Bureau of Statistics, the first population census in the UAE was conducted in 1968 by the Council of Developing Trucial States. http://www.uaestatistics.gov.ae. Last accessed on June 28, 2010. Even then a large percentage was expatriate Persian. See Frauke Heard-Bey, “The Gulf in the 20th Century,” Asian Affairs, 33: 1, 3–17 (2002). See also

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© 2011 Mahmood Monshipouri

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Monshipouri, M., Assareh, A. (2011). Migrant Workers and Their Rights in the United Arab Emirates. In: Monshipouri, M. (eds) Human Rights in the Middle East. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137001986_13

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