Most crimes by Dubai workers 'result of ignorance'

Dubai has launched a new awareness campaign to help labourers working in the city to understand their rights and duties

Image for illustration only.
Image for illustration only.

Dubai has launched a new awareness campaign to help labourers working in the city to understand their rights, duties and the law in an effort to reduce the number of crimes they commit.

Major General Obaid Mohair bin Surour, deputy director of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, said that most crimes committed by labourers are a result of ignorance and are not deliberate.

Bin Surour, who is also chairman of the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai, said in comments published by news agency WAM that raising awareness among labourers will reduce the crime rate by around 50 percent.

"The PCLA has started a one year campaign to raise awareness amongst workers in Dubai about their rights and duties," he said.

The campaign, which will be held under the slogan "Safe work is my life and my future" will help labourers increase their understanding of their rights and responsibilities, before and after entering the country.

Bin Surour said that the most common crimes that may be committed by workers include working for someone other than the sponsor, which carries a AED50,000 fine, overstaying the visa, drug trafficking, which may land the worker a life imprisonment, drug abuse which leads to four years in jail, and murder, which can lead to a life sentence.

Other crimes include, rioting, theft, robbery, illegal consumption of alcohol, perjury, gambling, and arson.

"We are keen to prevent any workers' rights violations, and at the same time we want the workers to be responsible and to understand what they should and should not do," Bin Surour added.

"Some crimes are committed because workers are not aware of the law, so they offend," he said.

The campaign will see thousands of leaflets, posters and brochures distributed to workers explaining the rules in the country, information of the law, and other useful dos and don'ts.

Posters that clarify rules and regulations have also been distributed to all labour accommodations and worksites in the city, WAM reported.

"We want the workers to feel the UAE as their second home and we want them to enjoy their stay here and to make their work in the UAE as an enjoyable and pleasant experience," said Bin Surour.

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