Human Rights Watch: Rights violations of NYU workers in Abu Dhabi

In response to a new Human Rights Watch report released yesterday, documenting the rights violations of workers employed on the NYUAD project for the third time, the Coalition for Fair Labor released a statement to President Sexton and Vice Chancellor Bloom reiterating our past demands for NYU to:

1) develop cross-campus research initiatives aimed at reform of the kafala system of sponsorship-based employment that heavily entraps workers in the region
2) assure transparency throughout the selection process and appointment of NYUAD’s new independent monitor, as well as the efficacy of the new monitor’s methodologies
3) amend its Statement of Labor Values to allow for the right to organize, strike and bargain collectively
4) petition to invite the International Labor Organization to negotiate significant reforms to the sponsorship system

In their 82-page report, “Migrant Workers’ Rights on Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates: 2015 Progress Report,” HRW documented the following: the confiscation of workers’ passports, the failure to reimburse workers for recruitment fees, and the ill-treatment and summary deportation of more than 200 workers who went on strike in October 2013 to protest pay discrepancies.

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