Thursday, August 02, 2007

Criminal treatment of employees.

Another example of the appalling way far too many employers treat their employees.

On Monday a fire in a residential building in Al Rolla Road, Bur Dubai resulted in the death of one young woman. Several others were rescued.

A neighbour reported at the time that he had to kick the door down to try to rescue residents from the burning apartment. Witnesses said that they could all have been rescued had the door not been locked.

Today Gulf News reports that police are investigating whether the door was locked, imprisoning the people living there.

A big area of abuse seems to be emerging here, brought to public attention as a result of the fire.

I didn't realise that there are, apparently, more than 150 Asian dance clubs in Dubai where hundreds of girls perform every night.

"They normally keep the girls, who perform in dance clubs, locked in their flats during the day for 'safety' reasons," said a dancer, who works at another club.

"It is quite common and the management of many Indian and Pakistani night-clubs follows the same practice.

We are taken to clubs around 8pm and brought back to flats after 3am when the clubs close. We are not allowed to go anywhere. We are given food in the flat and we live like prisoners," she said.

Several girls and employees of other clubs also confirmed this.

When contacted, the management of the club refused to comment."

Locking people up in this way is, apart from any humanitarian issue, a criminal offence. Confirming that, Dubai police said that legal action can be taken against the offenders.

I sincerely hope that the full weight of the law will be brought down on anyone found guilty of this crime. In the case of Sana'a Malek (aka Aaina), the girl who died, I hope that nothing less than manslaughter is charged.

Another aspect of the story is that the dancers are brought in on visit visas but work for three months. If the customers like them their visit visas are renewed, if not they're sent back.

Working while on a visit visa? Isn't that illegal too?

While investigating this individual tragedy I hope that Dubai police extend the investigation into the whole sordid, illegal activity and bring to justice any and all employers who are responsible.

The full story is in Gulf News here.

1 comment:

strudel said...

Working while on a visit visa? Isn't that illegal too?

Guess what? In Italy many American girls are employed as teachers on a visit (3 months) visa. The owner and headmaster of the English Schools where they work is oftenly an American mistress. Every 3 months they must flee out the EU borders and then may come back for another 3 months. They can be easily fired but aren't locked in.