The publication entitled “Improving access to justice for workers: The case of the UAE” is an outcome of a panel discussion that was held on 20 March 2018 at Palais des Nations in Geneva addressing the same subject. The panel debate was arranged by the Geneva Centre, the European Public Law Organization and the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Office in Geneva. The aim of the publication is to review the progress achieved in the UAE to enhance access to justice for workers and to identify areas of possible improvement. The review was intended to assess the most innovative features of labour reforms and their possible replication in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
UAE was chosen as a case study for this review in view of the fact that the country has the highest proportion of international migrants in the world and that the country has recently implemented numerous innovative measures to enhance access to justice for migrant workers. During the debate, it was highlighted that migrant workers bring a substantial contribution to the host economy as the UAE is dependent on access to labour to maintain economic growth and development since domestic labour supply is insufficient to meet national demand. The speakers also offered constructive recommendations to the UAE regarding the adoption of policies and measures aimed at ameliorating access to justice for foreign workers. It was likewise recommended that the UAE authorities take necessary steps to ensure that labour laws are aligned with ILO’s Domestic Workers Convention and other relevant international legal instruments.
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