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UAE law targets sexual harassment, forced labour

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REUTERS, 26 September, 2017- 


The United Arab Emirates, criticized globally for its treatment of migrant workers, issued a law on Tuesday to combat abuse of domestic staff, state news agency WAM said.  
It includes prohibitions on sexual harassment, forced labour, and the employment of domestic workers under 18.  


It also stipulates that workers are entitled to one paid day off each week, 
30 days of paid vacation per year and up to 30 days of sick leave.  


President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan approved the law, which was praised by human rights organizations when its draft was passed by the country’s legislative body in May.  


The UAE relies heavily on migrant labour with an estimated 8 million workers making up more than 80 percent of its population, according to the International Labour Organization.  


The Gulf Arab state has in the past been sharply criticized by groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for allowing domestic staff to endure long hours, unpaid wages and abuse.  


The new law covers 19 service work occupations, including guards, parking valet workers, gardeners, domestic workers, cooks, and nannies, as well as private trainers, nurses, and drivers.  

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