UAE highlights human rights progress

The first meeting of the UAE committee mandated to write the United Nations Periodic Report on Human Rights in the UAE for 2008, has highlighted the achievements by the nation in human rights issues.

Oakwood is a US $122.5m development.
Oakwood is a US $122.5m development.

The first meeting of the UAE committee mandated to write the United Nations Periodic Report on Human Rights in the UAE for 2008, has highlighted the achievements by the nation in human rights issues.

HE Anwar Gargash, minister of State for Foreign Affairs, chaired the meeting, which discussed the report to be presented to the Human Rights Council, Geneva, later this year.

Over the years, the UAE has been questioned by global human rights watchdogs over violations against construction workers. In a report released in 2006 by New York-based Human Rights Watch, Building Towers, Cheating Workers, the UAE was accused of severe human rights violations against its expatriate workforce.

Through the UAE's report, the Human Rights Council seeks to support international efforts to enhance human rights and evaluate the progress and challenges in this area.

The report is a medium to exchange experiences and best practices and to encourage co-operation between countries and the Human Rights Commissariat in the United Nations.

Gargash said: "The UAE is fully committed to and respects human rights as a universal core value and is committed to all international human rights agreements."

The UAE has not signed up to certain UN conventions, including the right to collective bargaining and freedom of association.

Gargash said: "The Periodic Report on Human Rights focuses on the achievements made by the UAE in human rights practice. The report is not an evaluation tool but raises the challenges that face the government on issues related to human rights and demonstrates areas for improvement in legislation and implementation."

The UAE Periodic Report on Human Rights Committee comprises representatives from ministries and government bodies, in addition to representatives from different sectors of the UAE, creating a wide participant base amongst the relevant bodies dealing with the issue in the country.

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