The UAE’s Impeccable Human Rights Record

  • 11 March 2014

The message delivered by the UAE’s Foreign Ministry to the U.S. State Department on the UAE’s 2013 human rights report has set the record straight by presenting facts and maintaining that certain organizations concerned with human rights do not base their analysis on accurate information or reliable sources. They rely, in certain cases, on suspicious entities, even those accused of violence and terrorism as well as on organizations that are politicized and raise the slogan of human rights to provide false information for political ends. One of the important issues that the UAE Foreign Ministry focused on is the lack of clarity regarding human rights activism and those supporting and instigating terror. This leads to a situation in which some elements, in the guise of defending human rights, potentially become a threat to. They work to undermine the security and stability of their countries and create a climate of chaos and confusion across the region.

The most significant feature of the clear and comprehensive statement sent to the U.S. State Department is the fact that it referred to the UAE’s record on human rights in a documented, comprehensive and undeniable manner. The statement emphasized that the UAE is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council and that it fully cooperates with the Council on the recommendation and implementation following the periodic reviews of human rights situation or by welcoming visits of UN officials concerned with human rights. In April, the UN Special Rapporteur on combating human trafficking praised the UAE’s positive record during his visit to the UAE.

The statement also highlighted the UAE’s vision of human rights. It said that the country doesn’t confine this to political rights but also includes economic, social and cultural dimensions to it. The UAE ranks among the top in Human Development Index and Satisfaction and Happiness indicators. It is a favorite destination for people across the world looking to live, work and tour the country. The UAE society is characterized by openness, tolerance and moderation. Almost 200 nationalities live in the country in peace and harmony. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013, published by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, the UAE leads the way in the MENA region with the narrowest gender gap and ranks 114th globally.

The criticism of the country’s record on expatriate labor issue has not been based on objective grounds. The Foreign Ministry’s statement emphasized the UAE’s impeccable record in this domain and cited the signing of international conventions on worker rights, including the most important nine conventions and treaties of International Labour Organization. It stressed the laws, regulations and action taken to safeguard worker rights, dignity and physical safety, including the establishment of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, which is being regarded as a global model to address this problem. The UAE follows religious and cultural principles in protecting human rights and doesn’t do it to avoid criticism or receive praise. The UAE’s approach has been consistent in this regard and has given it an impeccable and honorable record.