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Migrant Workers’ Conditions in Middle East is Modern Slavery – and the answer from employing class to radicalised Arab working class of the ’60s

The idea that Dubai is an oasis of freedom on the Arabian peninsular is one of the great lies of our time. Yes, it has Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts and the Gucci styles, but beneath these accoutrements, there is a dictatorship built by slaves.

If you go there with your eyes open – as I did earlier this year – the truth is hidden in plain view. The tour books and the bragging Emiratis will tell you the city was built by Sheikh Mohammed, the country’s hereditary ruler. It is untrue.

The people who really built the city can be seen in long chain-gangs by the side of the road, or toiling all day at the top of the tallest buildings in the world, in heat that Westerners are told not to stay in for more than 10 minutes. They were conned into coming, and trapped into staying.

In their home country – Bangladesh or the Philippines or India – these workers are told they can earn a fortune in Dubai if they pay a large upfront fee. When they arrive, their passports are taken from them, and they are told their wages are a tenth of the rate they were promised. Read more


26 domestic workers accused of trafficking a recruitment agency

Evelyn Calugay, PINAY militant

PINAY, activist organization of Filipino domestic workers in Montreal denounces human rights abuses and violations perpetrated by a placement agency and the ineffectiveness of authorities and government agencies in protecting the rights of cheated domestic workers.

Super Nanny, a placement agency headed by John Aurora(who was the subject of a Radio-Canada report on “Immigration scammers” in 2003) , load of women from the Phillipines to 4500$ US so they can immigrate to Canada under the domestic help program, but when these women arrive in Canada, they are left with no employer and no choice but to pay rent to the placement agency for a shared bed in a squalid unit rented by the agency.

Sylvia Cordova, one of the 26 workers to complain to human rights commission against John Aurora testifies: “When I got here, I was taken to John Aurora's house and we all slept in the same bed. I didn't know women, but many of us had to live in the same room. They had no choice but to live there. They asked me to sign a lease. They told me not to read it, to only sign it. I paid 4500$ with the promise of an employer and a better life in Canada. But when I got there, they told me they didn't have an employer for me.»

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Series about the horrors faced by migrant workers

It's rare, but it happens. Sometimes, the big media monopolies publish interesting information, with a favorable view to workers. This is what just happened in the newspaper The Press, where journalist André Noël publishes a series of articles on migrant workers struggling in our Quebec countryside to pick fruits and vegetables produced in Quebec, thus echoing complaints from Noé Santos against the Quebec company Savoura, that we had relayed last December.

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Haiti and Santo Domingo : slaves to the island

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are forced to cross the border to work in the Dominican Republic. Parked in plantations, they live without water, power, latrines, school and care.

This is one island, Hispaniola, but both countries, two different worlds, at sea Caribbean. Haiti and the Dominican Republic. poor country among the poorest in the world, Haiti pushes its inhabitants into exile, probably between 10 % and 15 % Population. Between 500 000 and a million Haitians live, illegal or not, Dominican Republic, who, beside, almost figure Eldorado. For one season or for life, they go to work in the Dominican fields, for 1 or 2 euros per day, more than they can hope to earn in their country devastated by years of economic and political crisis the ratio between the average income of a Haitian and that of a Dominican and 1 at 7.

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