Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Dire Human Rights Situation In Dubai Was Overlooked For Ports Deal By The White House

The proposed ports deal with the Dubai company, DP World may hopefully be a dead issue. But during this debate the White House seemed to ignore some very serious human rights abuses and other conduct by the Dubai government.

The UAE is still a major center of human trafficking, where thousands of child slave laborers still exist. Only recently are child slaves not being used in camel racing, replaced by robots or electronics of some sort.

Over 80% of the current population of the UAE are foreign workers, including child slaves from states such as Pakistan or Africa. The UAE has failed to sign most international agreements that outlaw human trafficking, slave labor, nonpayment of wages and other important human rights issues.

In the U.N, the Dubai government was critical of the U.S. for not suppoting an antiIsrael resolution which branded mush of Israel's self-defense actions as terrorism.

The UAE government does not alow for free elections, and nongovernment human rights groups are actively blocked from forming by the Dubai government.

Heavy government censorship of the airwaves and print media in the UAE prevents major academics and others from offering views critical of the wide state of human rights abuses in the UAE.

In the UAE it is actually a crime for a Muslim to convert to another faith such as becoming a Christian. In many other countries such as India, many nonChristians routinely attend free Christian events such as religious movie showings.

Often the wealthy who own foreign slave workers may engage in sexual abuse of these workers, yet foreign workers have little legal recourse to prevent this abuse and many foreign wokers, perhaps thousands are in UAE prisons with little real legal recourse. In one case a female domestic worker who became pregnant outside of marriage was sentenced under Shari'a(Islamic religious court)law and faces a 150 stroke flogging after she gives birth and is deemed healthy enough to suffer this outrageous torture and abuse.

Amnesty International and others have long been critical of the long history of UAE human rights abuses, slave labor, terrible Shari'a law applied to foreign workers, antiU.S. and antiIsrael U.N. votes and other examples of the UAE being a very poor member of the world community. Yet the Bush Administration chose to ignore all this in their promotion of the Dubai port deal.


At 1:21 PM, Blogger Chris Oldfield said...

There are not "thousands of child slaves" in Dubai. And, much of what you say about censorship, human rights, the horror of Sharia law, etc. is either incorrect or exaggerated.

Clearly you have never visited Dubai. Perhaps you should look at some of the local blogs …

Of course, I am not saying everything in Dubai is perfect. It is not. But, the picture you paint is overblown.

Very best

[A US educated, Englishman who has been involved with Arabia for twenty years and who hope to see both sides (sometimes)]


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