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27 Sep 2021

UAE: EU Parliament calls for Expo Dubai 2020 sponsors to withdraw, citing concerns for free speech, workers & women's rights; incl. sponsors' comments

The delayed Dubai Expo 2020 opens to visitors on 1st October. Ahead of the opening, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the Expo organisers and its 13 Official Premier Partners to respond to a recent resolution from the European Parliament which raises concerns regarding the treatment of human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor in the United Arab Emirates. It also references abuse of human rights defenders more widely, abuse of migrant workers facilitated by the Kafala system, and discrimination against and sexual abuse of women.

The resolution was rejected by the Arab Parliament who stated "the UAE is one of the leading countries with regards to human rights". The resolution states:

“In order to signal their disapproval of the human rights violations in the UAE, invites the international companies sponsoring Expo 2020 Dubai to withdraw their sponsorship and encourages Member States not to participate in the event”

We received responses from premier partners Accenture and Siemens.

The Dubai Expo 2020 organisers and premier partners Cisco Systems, DP World, Emirates NBD, Emirates Airlines (part of Emirates Group), Etisalat, Group 42, Mastercard, Nissan, PepsiCo, SAP and Terminus Group did not respond.

ICFUAE welcomes the European Parliament’s resolution on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This resolution is an important step toward holding the UAE government accountable for its ongoing systematic human rights violations against its own citizens and its utter disregard to international law... The European Parliament’s call on member states and companies to withdraw from the event, is an important step towards accountability of those responsible for the ongoing human rights crises in the country and, as such, justice for its victims.
International Campaign for Freedom in the UAE

Company Responses

Accenture View Response
Siemens View Response
Expo 2020 Dubai

No Response

Etisalat

No Response

Emirates NBD

No Response

Emirates Airlines (part of Emirates Group)

No Response

MasterCard

No Response

Terminus Group

No Response

Group 42

No Response

Cisco Systems

No Response

DP World

No Response

Nissan

No Response

SAP SE

No Response

PepsiCo

No Response

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