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15 Feb 2022

Isabel Debre, Associated Press

New report details labor rights abuses at Dubai’s Expo 2020

"New report details labor rights abuses at Dubai’s Expo 2020", 2 Feb 2022

The legions of workers who built Dubai’s extravagant Expo 2020 site and keep it running face exploitation, grim conditions and a wide range of labor abuses, according to a new report released...by a London-based labor rights group.

...majority of workers interviewed were forced to pay illegal recruitment fees to get their jobs, often exceeding their monthly pay...the report said many employers were aware that workers paid steep fees to recruiters in their home countries and did not reimburse them, creating a situation of debt bondage.

The Equidem report documented workers who were not provided with employment contracts or could not read them because they were not translated into their native language, as required by law.

“The way they treat the staff is like slaves,” one worker at the Crab Chic cafe...told Equidem researchers. “It’s very tiring. I work from early in the morning till evening. … Never have I received overtime payment.”

Workers also said they were targets of discrimination, describing how their race dictated their treatment and duties on site.

“Asians are given the heavy work and less pay while the Europeans and Arabs are given lighter roles with lots of income,” said one interviewee. “The Asians are the first to lose their jobs.”

...none of the employers featured in the report appeared to be in compliance with the event’s standards.

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre was unable to find contact information for Crab Chic Cafe]