Oct 202014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/06/08DUBAI245.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08DUBAI245
2008-06-29 14:20
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Dubai

VZCZCXRO5910
PP RUEHDIR
DE RUEHDE #0245/01 1811420
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291420Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL DUBAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6050
INFO RUEHZM/GCC C COLLECTIVE
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 3088
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI PRIORITY 9251
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUBAI 000245

SIPDIS

NEA/ARP BAGWELL AND MASILKO; DRL/ILSCR ANZALDUA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 6/29/2018
TAGS: PGOV ELAB PHUM AE RP IN
SUBJECT: UAE PLANS PILOT PROGRAMS TO MANAGE INTERNATIONAL LABOR CYCLE

DUBAI 00000245 001.2 OF 002

CLASSIFIED BY: Paul Sutphin, Consul General, Consulate Dubai,
UAE.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

¶1. (U) Summary: As a follow-on to the January 2008 Colombo
Process Ministerial Consultation on Overseas Employment and
Contractual Labor for Countries of Origin and Destination in
Asia (a.k.a. The Abu Dhabi Dialogue) and the subsequent Gulf
Forum on Temporary Contractual Labor, the UAEG, India and the
Philippines are initiating pilot programs targeting the entire
migrant labor process. Specifically, the programs will focus on
recruitment, in-country employment and repatriation in an effort
to improve the management of the international labor cycle for
both sending and receiving countries and to protect foreign
workers in the UAE. End Summary.

January 2008 Labor Dialogue

——————————

¶2. (U) According to UAE Ministry of Labor (MOL) advisor Alex
Zalami, the 2008 Colombo Process and Gulf Forum on Temporary
Contractual Labor discussions in Abu Dhabi examined ways in
which transitory worker sending and receiving countries can
better collaborate in managing and legitimizing the
international labor cycle, as well as strengthening the
protection of foreign laborers. Specifically, the conferences
addressed four elements of the labor cycle: Pre-Deployment
Education and Information Sharing (including improving the
process by which workers are recruited and informed about the
conditions of employment, i.e., duration, salary); In-Country
Protection (including ensuring that wages are paid, certifying
that the worksite complies with established standards, and
establishing an appropriate mechanism for due process to handle
any employee-employer disputes); Pre-departure Preparation
(educating the employee about resources in his native country
that are available to him, such as micro-loans, training, etc.);
and Repatriation Assistance (including establishing standards by
which laborers are returned to their countries of origin).

Pilot Projects

—————

¶3. (U) A key outgrowth of the January meetings was a subsequent
agreement between UAE, Philippines and Indian officials to
establish new pilot programs targeting labor cycle management.
These non-binding trial initiatives, expected to be officially
launched in August 2008, will place trained UAE staff in each
country to handle all aspects of pre-deployment processing,
including recruiting for vacant positions, arranging
transportation of hired workers, securing of necessary visas,
scheduling any required medical examinations, and handling other
administrative requirements. Additionally, staff members will
be available to liaise with UAE MOL, as necessary. These
initiatives have been undertaken, in part, to eliminate the
abuses in the current labor system, such as fraudulent
recruiting, unscrupulous recruiters extorting money from
workers, and contract swapping. Zalami told Pol/Econ Officers
that the pilot programs will initially target certain segments
of the labor demographic in each country, including unskilled
and semi-skilled Indian construction laborers and hospitality
and healthcare workers from the Philippines. He added that the
pilots may be expanded, depending on need and/or initial
results.

¶4. (SBU) As a supplement to the pilot projects, the UAEG
recently established a commission of international labor
experts. This commission, comprised of noted labor authorities
such as Dr. Philip Martin (University of California Davis, Chair
UC Comparative Immigration & Integration Program) and Ibrahim
Awad (Director of the International Migration Program at
International Labor Organization, ILO), among others, will

DUBAI 00000245 002.2 OF 002

examine the results of the initiatives and issue recommendations
on improving the management of the labor cycle. Ultimately, the
committee’s findings will be used to inform future bilateral and
multilateral labor discussions.

Comment

——–

¶5. (C) Many important details of the pilot projects are still
unclear, i.e., their anticipated length, number of
Indian/Filipino workers expected to be processed, and the
number/affiliation of the UAE employees who will work in India
and the Philippines. Ultimately, though, the extent to which
the pilot programs will succeed is largely dependent on the
support of both the UAEG and the host countries. With
high-level support, and sufficient human and other resources,
these initiatives – when ultimately implemented – could
institutionalize important and heretofore relatively
uncontrollable and problematic elements of the labor cycle
(i.e., recruiting) and could serve as a model for other
labor-importing countries. [Zalami also noted that the GCC
countries have been discussing establishing a regional labor
management initiative]. While not a panacea, these projects
nonetheless represent important contributions towards improving
the way in which the UAE manages its substantial foreign labor
population.
SUTPHIN

   

 

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