Labourers work near the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, in Dubai in this May 9, 2013.(Reuters File Photo)
Labourers work near the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, in Dubai in this May 9, 2013.(Reuters File Photo)

India working closely with UAE to address issues faced by migrant workers

India’s Ministry of External Affairs is working closely with the UAE government to resolve cases of exploitation and abuse faced by its migrant workers in the Gulf nation
By Press Trust of India | Press Trust of India, Abu Dhbai
UPDATED ON OCT 15, 2017 05:15 PM IST

India’s Ministry of External Affairs is working closely with the UAE government to resolve cases of exploitation and abuse faced by its migrant workers in the Gulf nation, a top official said here on Sunday.

“We work very closely with the UAE government to make sure that every single case that comes to us is addressed.

“We run a shelter for domestic workers, especially women who have faced problems are rescued and put in the shelter until we can obtain their passport or issue fresh travel documents to them so that they can safely go back to India,” India’s High Commissioner to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navdeep Suri told PTI in an interview.

He said the Ministry of External Affairs is working actively with state governments to see how it can improve the scenario for migrant workers.

However, Suri highlighted that when one looks at the 2.7 million Indian population in the UAE, the percentage of people who face difficulties, harassment or abuse is minuscule, observing that it is not a country that habitually exploits people.

The High Commissioner inaugurated the India Pavilion at the WorldSkills Competition here. India has sent a 77-member strong contingent, including experts and interpreters, to compete in the event.

The country, which won a silver medal in 2009 and 5 medallions of excellence in 2015, is pinning hopes on winning gold and silver medals this time.

“We have been consistently improving our performance. We are on the learning curve. I think this year the squad, the youth who are representing us are much better prepared and a confident lot.

“We hope that they will do well. We do see a lot of medal prospects,” said Rajesh Agarwal, Official Delegate - India at WorldSkills and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

“Skills is an absolutely critical area for India’s socioeconomic development. Our demographic dividend will come about only if we are able to upskill our people.

“The manpower deficits here (UAE) you see, India is perhaps the only country that can provide enough people who are skilled. The critical part for us is to acquire the skills, to establish ourselves as a major skill provider so that our demographic dividend feeds into the global requirement of skills,” Suri said.

WorldSkills opened with a gala ceremony late last evening. The men from the Indian contingent wore blue blazer trouser combination and finished the look with a red stole around their necks while the women participants were beautifully dressed in traditional sarees.

Twenty eight young competitors from India are demonstrating their prowess in trades like jewellery design, beauty therapy, mobile robotics, automobile technology and cooking at the competition.

WorldSkills President Simon Bartley thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the other leaders of the UAE for hosting WorldSkills in the Middle East for the first time.

“Their vision acknowledges that to transform and develop an economy you have to put skills at the very heart of your efforts,” Bartley said while addressing the opening ceremony.

Close to 1,300 competitors, 10,000 international visitors, and 100,000 visitors from UAE are expected to attend, with around 80,000 UAE students registered to visit the event.

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