A report by Democracy Centre For Transparency (DCT) published a unique report to examine UAE Human Rights Record & the requirements of EU Visa Waiver. The report concluded that EU has long advocated an approach based on promoting, protecting and respecting human rights
that was reflected in its domestic as well as foreign policy. This approach has been part of the texts of
agreements that the EU has signed over the years where a phrase regarding observing human rights
has always been there.
DCT argued that despite the EU’s commitment to human rights, including having dialogues with countries that have a bad record of human rights violations, the Union has signed agreements with countries that have a bad record of human rights violations such as the UAE for economic and political considerations. The EU needs to affirm its human rights stance by reconsidering agreements signed with other countries that have a record of human rights violations.
The UAE has a very negative record to mistreating migrant workers, torturing political prisoners at home
and abroad, suppressing freedom of expression, human trafficking and intervening in other countries
causing further human rights violations such as in Yemen. The UAE’s involvement in Yemen has led
to documented 87 human rights violations, some of Conclusion which amount to war crimes, which claimed the lives of some 1,000 civilians. The UAE’s intervention in other countries have put an end to or threatened democratic regimes such as in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
For the above-reasons, and in line with the EU-human rights approach, the EU is urged to reconsider
its visa-waiver program with the UAE until it complies by protecting and promoting human rights. By doing so, the EU proves once again that its commitment to human rights is serious and comprehensive.
The report offered a set of the following recommendations:
1. The EU should reconsider its visa waiver program with the UAE due to the country’s involvement in
various human and financial crimes at home and abroad that resulted in the death of 1,000 civilians
2. The EU should establish a monitoring body that monitor the activities of governments that have
partnership agreements with the EU to make sure human rights are protected and respected.
3. The EU should not separate between its own human rights values and that of its partners as such a
behavior undermines the credibility of the EU as an advocate of human rights globally.
4. The UAE should adopt a comprehensive human rights approach that protect the rights of all people
regardless of sex, age, race, religion or social status. Being a business hub does not save the country
the responsibility over human rights violations.
5. The EU should make sure that its partners, including the UAE, act according to its general foreign policy outlines, such as the situation in Yemen, where the UAE is accused of committing war crimes.
6. The EU should re-blacklist the UAE as a haven for tax as the country is heavily involved in tax evasion, where drug trade and modern-day slavery are still practiced.
7. The EU should make sure the UAE stops human trafficking and modern slavery on its soil or abroad,
especially in Libya, where thousands of migrants are exploited on their way to the EU via the sea.
8. The EU should pass legislations that ensure the protection of women rights by partner countries including the UAE, where women still need the approval of their husbands to get a job.
9. The UAE should give political opposition the platform to express their opinion without fear and
should release all human rights defenders from jails, where wide-spread torture was reported.
10.The UAE should release all political prisoners in prisons run by it in Yemen, including prohibiting
torture at home or outside. The EU should actively be engaged with the UAE to make sure no violations
against civilians are committed by the UAE in Yemen.
11.The EU should conduct visits to construction and prison facilities in the UAE where migrant workers
live dire conditions and some of them get deported illegally over differences with their employers of
attempting to demand their own rights due to the sponsorship system.
12. NGOs and civil society in the EU should play a greater role in making sure EU partners don’t commit
violations or crimes that contradict the values of the EU.