Monthly Archives: September 2016

Migrant Workers in the Gulf Feel Pinch of Falling Oil Prices

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A labour camp in Dubai. Workers are allocated sleeping quarters based on nationality, and the number of occupants may be as high as eight per room. Credit: S. Irfan Ahmed/IPS

In the Al Quoz industrial area of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a number of medium and large-sized buses can be spotted transporting workers clad in company uniforms to distant worksites early in the morning. In the evening or, in certain cases, late at night, these workers are brought back to labour camps in the same buses.

At the camps, the migrant workers barely have time to rest before the next workday. They huddle inside small, dingy quarters and the number of occupants may rise up to eight per room. With their belongings stuffed into every corner, they hardly have space to move and are vulnerable to catch infections from each other. Their day starts too early as they have to cook their food to carry to the site and ends late due to long journeys amid frequent traffic jams. Continue reading

Epicentre of trafficking

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Long before the earthquake hit last year, the districts around Kathmandu were already hotbeds of trafficking

Charimaya Tamang was just 16 when she was drugged, trafficked and sold into a brothel in India. She was rescued, and returned to Nepal in 1996.

Twenty years later, Nepal has introduced multiple measures, most importantly the 1998 National Plan of Action (NPA) to eliminate human trafficking, to allow the government to stop the scourge. But although reduced, trafficking is still rampant in Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot, Dhading and other satellite districts of Kathmandu.

Tamang founded Shakti Samuha along with 14 other trafficking survivors, and fought against trafficking. Their organisation won the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2013.

“Things have improved, girls are now relatively more aware and protected than they were in my time,” says Tamang who was honoured by the US government in 2011 with the TIP (Trafficking in Person) Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery Award. Continue reading