UAE affirms commitment to protecting workers’ rights in letter to International Labour Oranisation ( ILO )

The United Arab Emirates has underscored its commitment to upholding the rights of all workers in the country and ensuring their health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation, ILO, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said, "The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health, safety and welfare of all people around the world and necessitates a comprehensive global response addressing health, labor, the economy, and human rights."

Sheikh Abdullah added, "The UAE firmly believes that the best way to address the pandemic is through international solidarity and global cooperation, and by ensuring the protection of labor, as well as the rights of all, irrespective of citizenship or immigration status."

He said the UAE has sought to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 and enhance job security for all workers in the UAE through measures designed to protect employment and support the economy. In addition, the UAE Central Bank has implemented a US$27 billion targeted economic support scheme to alleviate liquidity issues faced by businesses.

Furthermore, the UAE Foreign Minister described a series of measures to promote worker safety, noting that the UAE is partnering with private sector employers to provide protective equipment, ensure social distancing and encourage remote work, sterilize work facilities, and issue mandatory certification prior to restarting economic activity.

The UAE Government has also outlined requirements for private sector workplaces, transport, and accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic and is conducting inspections to ensure compliance. A dedicated information centre for COVID-19 is available in Arabic, English, Urdu, Chinese, Hindi, Tagalog, and Bengali. A proactive educational outreach program is ongoing to provide information to workers on COVID-19 safety and healthcare options.

Sheikh Abdullah affirmed that the UAE Government is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals principle of "leave no one behind," noting the country’s support for assistance programs among vulnerable communities. H.H. referenced the 10 Million Meals campaign; the provision of support for medical, food, education and other basic needs; and the provision of support to the families of those who succumb to COVID-19, regardless of nationality and for the duration of the pandemic.

Other measures include the automatic renewal of work permits, free COVID-19 testing and treatment for those who require it, and voluntary repatriation to workers’ home countries with no impact on employment.

In order to better understand and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on migrant workers and development, Sheikh Abdullah concluded, the UAE is studying best practices from UN agencies, civil society, businesses, and local administrations, and has formed an Ad Hoc Working Group to strengthen partnerships in advance of the Global Forum on Migration and Development Summit in 2021.

News Source : http://wam.ae/en/details/1395302843259

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