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Motion for a resolution - B7-0479/2012Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the Human Rights situation in the United Arab Emirates

23.10.2012 - (2012/2842(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Fiorello Provera; Oreste Rossi; Francesco Enrico Speroni; Jaroslav Paška; Juozas Imbrasas on behalf of the EFD Group

Procedure : 2012/2842(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the Human Rights situation in the United Arab Emirates


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on the Arabian Gulf,


- having regard to the remarks by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative on 25 June 2012 following the 22nd EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting,


- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


- having regard to the UN'S Universal Periodic Review of 2008


- having regard to the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,


- having regard to the ILO conventions, 29, 105 and 111,


- having regard to the United Arab Emirates accession to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment,


- having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure



A. whereas government critic Ahmed Mansoor spent seven months in jail in 2011 for his blog which criticized the UAE government and has been a victim of a string of violent assaults after participating in a Human Rights Council event and was among 61 peaceful political dissidents who were detained for their association with a non-violent political group and many activists are charged under 176 of the penal code, which makes it a crime to insult the country's top officials;


B. whereas according to section 16 of the UAE's 2008 Law of Associations, NGOs and their members are prohibited from interfering in politics and matters that affect state security and are often jailed, assaulted, subjected to dismissals from their work and barred from leaving the country;


C. whereas political activity in the UAE is severely restricted and political parties are not formally permitted and restrictions on freedom of expression and associations have been increasing in recent months with the closure of two international organizations in March by the UAE authorities;


D. whereas human rights defender Ahmed al-Suweidi was arrested on March 26 and is a victim of enforced disappearance and there are fears he could have endured torture at a UAE State Security facility and al-Suweidi was one of six other Emiratis who were stripped of their citizenship in May 2011 as a result of a crackdown on free expression;


E. whereas there are four million migrant workers living in the UAE, many of whom are denied basic labour rights and often fall victim to exploitative sponsorship schemes; whereas trade unions are forbidden and employment protections laid out in the Labor Law of 1980 does not extend to domestic migrant workers employed in private households;


F. whereas many workers responsible for building the Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island project are subjected to living in premises with poor sanitation and air conditioning and no access to transport for workers to travel to Abu Dhabi;


G. whereas in January 2011, seventy one Bangladeshi nationals were deported for their role in organizing a two week strike for three thousand workers who were demanding a wage increase;


1. Calls for the immediate release of prisoners detained for expressing their opinions and calling for government reforms, including the release of the 60 civil society activists detainees, the opening of an investigation into the series of assaulted directed against government critic Ahmed Mansoor and to allow Ahmed al-Suweidi access to his family, legal representation and medical assistance;


2. Urges the UAE authorities to undertake independent and swift investigations into allegations of torture and enforced disappearance


3. Expresses the need for the Government of the UAE to comply with the tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Arab Charter on Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against women;


4. Believes that the UAE's important role in the Arab world would be enhanced with the adoption of swift reforms, namely with the introduction of freedom of association for workers, collective bargaining rights and by amending the 1980 Labor Law in order to give adequate protection to domestic workers in private homes,


4. Calls on the UAE government to ensure that all migrant workers are provided adequate accommodation, compensation, access to their identity papers and medical assistance and asks that the government-owned development company take swift steps to address the needs of workers at the Saadiyat island project ;


5. Expresses the need for the government to address the exploitative aspects of employers complicit of engaging in human trafficking;


6. Endorses UAE Federal Law 51 which covers all forms of human trafficking and calls for strong punitive measures and the setting up of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking in 2007 to coordinate federal ministries;


7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the government and Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Nations Secretary General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights