20,000 workers undergo awareness sessions

Survey showed that 34.48% of workers had knowledge of cultural and social mores in the UAE


About 20,000 workers in Dubai attended an awareness training programme this year to raise their knowledge of their rights and responsibilities after a survey showed that 34.48 per cent of workers know the cultural and social aspects of the country.

Major-General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, Deputy Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai, and Chairman of the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai said that they delivered awareness sessions to over 20,000 workers.

The awareness programme concentrates on raising the knowledge of workers on their rights and responsibilities as per the laws and regulations in the UAE and according to the international standards provided by Middle East Centre for Training and Development.

“It is essential to raise workers’ awareness. UAE, and Dubai in specific, has been eager to put the best practices and practical expertise into use in order to raise the cultural and awareness levels of migrant workers,” Maj Gen Bin Suroor said.

Meanwhile, a random survey was conducted targeting a group of 11,666 workers that answered the same questions of the survey, before and after the sessions.

34.48% had knowledge on the cultural and social aspects in the UAE, while 62.85% of the 11,666 workers have acquired more knowledge on these aspects within the UAE following the sessions.

32.81% of the workers were found to have an understanding on the needed procedures to be followed in case of dispute between the worker and the employer. Following the sessions, 59.42% of the workers acquired more knowledge on the legal procedures to be followed in case of dispute.

Dr. Ahmad Al Hashemi, Consultant to the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai and Managing Director of Middle East Centre for Training and Development, stated that the awareness training programme was based on scientific and academic references, and had been developed according to international standards governing the protection of both human rights and the rights of labour migrants.

The information delivered to the workers during the awareness sessions presented the necessary tools needed for the workers to start their employment period in the UAE, as indicated by the conclusions of the aforementioned studies.

The content of the sessions is based on four main topics; namely, introducing the rights and responsibilities of workers and raising their knowledge on laws and regulations in the UAE, the culture of the UAE, health and safety within the workplace, and important contact information for support channels when needed.

The awareness sessions also provide workers with an inclusive brief on the criminal procedural law and how to seek support services to protect their rights. This helps in reducing the number of violations that could have been avoided if workers had adequate knowledge on applicable laws and regulations in the UAE.

“It also helps to protect workers against exploitation in the workplace, and maintains the rights of each party,” Dr Al Hashemi said.

The awareness sessions were held while workers waited to conduct the medical fitness tests.

Abdul Monem Al Medawi, Secretary-General of the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai, stated that the sessions had targeted workers in the construction industry in Dubai as it includes the largest group of workers that are in need for adequate legal awareness.

“The training sessions will be extended in the upcoming phase, targeting workers in the Dubai Free Zones,” Al Medawi said.


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