Dubai: UAE as an Islamic country is keen on protecting human rights and to treat people equally and without prejudice and considers the welfare of all people here as its top priority.
The country’s constitution contains a number of rights and the various aspects of freedom residents can enjoy.
So whether you are an Emirati, an expatriate living in the UAE for many years or whether you are on short visit to the country, all your rights are protected.
If your rights are violated in any way by another person, company or institution, whether government or private, there are places you can approach to get a helping hand.
If you are either an unskilled labourer or an educated employee working for any organisation in the private sector here which violated your rights, you can visit the labour department if you are living in Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah or Umm Al Quwain.
The labour dispute section will sort out the problem with the employer whatever the problem is. If the case is not solved, it will be transferred to the court.
If you are in Dubai, you will have more options such as complaining to the labour dispute section at the Ministry of Labour or the Labour Court, and you can call the hotline of the Permanent Labour Committee.
You can also approach the Dubai Police Human Rights Department, which sometimes accept cases from outside the emirate.
Employees in Abu Dhabi can complain directly to the Labour Ministry at the Labour Dispute Section in case they feel their rights are violated in any way. The case will be studied and the problem sorted out, or if it cannot be done, it will be transferred to the court.
In addition to that, workers and employees of government or public departments can also approach any of the police stations or courts in his or her emirate who can help and guide them.
Emirati employees can complain at Tanmia, regarding issues which offend their rights at work. This organisation takes care of not only getting employment for Emiratis but also follows up their issues.
Tenants who have problems with their landlords in any emirate, can approach the Municipality Rent Dispute Committee to file complaints. The Committee will study the case and a decision will be taken to help protect the tenant’s rights.
If a woman is abused or tortured by relatives, the husband or family members, a newly-formed organisation, the Dubai Abused Women and Children’s Organisation, will be able to help soon, or by a similar named body in Abu Dhabi.
Some expatriate communities here have set up their own charity foundations, such as the Indian community, Egyptian and others. Such foundations are licensed by the authorities here.
Long arm of the law
The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking and the anti-human trafficking department at the Dubai Police are open to receive complaints from the public regarding cases related to recruitment, transportation, transfer or harbouring of illegal persons.
Cases they will look into also include holding people by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation.
Stiff penalties against human traffickers range from one year to life and include fines ranging between Dh20,000 up to Dh1 million. They may face life sentence if the trafficker has created, organised, run, assumed a leading role in, or solicited others to join an organised criminal gang, or if the victim was a female, child under 18 years, or special needs person .
One can call 999 for emergency. If one is calling from a mobile phone and want to contact 999 they should dial the code of the emirate they are contacting.
One can file a complaint online at the Human Rights Department on www.dubaipolice.gov.ae or contact 04-2692222; 04-2014342; 04-2014343; 04-2014344; 04-201434 or 04-2014346 or Fax: 04-2014180 or by mail to PO Box 1493 Dubai, UAE.
Abu Dhabi Police: 02-4461461; Al Ain Police: 03-7079999; Dubai Police: 04-6099999; Sharjah Police: 06-5631111; Ajman Police: 06-7409999.