Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights Violations’

Human Rights Violation 1: Dubai House Maid Refuses to Drive


I was at the airport, waiting for boarding. I sat beside a young woman from the Philippines who was working as a house maid for an Emirati family in Dubai. She was on her way home—for good—because she refused her boss’ request to drive the family around Dubai. She did not have a license to do so, and did not feel safe doing so, but her boss didn’t care. He insisted, telling her not to worry about her (lack of) a license.

Knowing that she would be in serious trouble if caught driving without a license, the woman declined, to be greeted the following day with news that she was being taken back to the placement agency. Without anyone hearing her side of the story, she was sent directly to the airport, with a police escort, and her working visa was canceled. She was not paid her salary for the last month, not given any cash for things like food during her journey home, and wasn’t even given her luggage. Her boss also confiscated her cell phone, so as to wipe the record of any contacts the woman had in the Middle East. She was literally thrown out of Dubai with only the clothes on her back, all for refusing to drive without a license.

Human Rights Violations in the Middle East: Prelude


Having spent a good deal of time in the Middle East—especially in Qatar—I’ve come to learn a lot of the good elements and bad elements of the culture here. There are many fascinating things, of which I hope this space will shed light upon many, but there are also some incredibly disturbing elements to the way people live here. Human rights violations are rampant, because people are not equal. I don’t bring these up to portray any Middle Eastern countries or cultures in a negative light, because most of what I’ve seen and heard are reflections of individuals and not the country or culture. But by shedding more light on them, I hope they can eventually be discovered and eliminated.

In most cases, the problems that exist are based on class and racial differences. The skyscrapers that you see here were all built by day laborers from India, Nepal and surrounding areas. The service industries, like hotels and restaurants, are being run on the backs of young men and women from Thailand and the Philippines. And the majority of children here are not raised by their own parents, but by nannies that are brought in from Southeast Asia specifically for that purpose. While this diversity is in and of itself a good thing, unfortunately these people are not accepted as anything more than the servants they are to the rich locals, and are treated as such.

With this prelude, stay tuned to this space for a series of stories of things that will hopefully not occur here for too much longer.