Data Dashboards

United Arab Emirates
Measurement
Measuring the Change

using prevalence data providing the widest temporal coverage of the most complete and comparable measures available by ICLS standards.

Due to lack of nationally representative data, there is no change to report.

%
Best Target 8.7 Data: Child Labour Rate

No data available

Data Availability
  • Child labour: No ILO/UNICEF data
  • Forced labour: No nationally representative data
  • Human trafficking: No nationally representative data
Context
Human Development

Human Development Index Score: 0.866 (2018)

Mean School Years: 11.0 years (2018)

Labour Indicators

Vulnerable Employment: 0.8% (2018)

Working Poverty Rate: 0.0% (2020)

Government Efforts
Key Ratifications
  • ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, P029: Not Ratified
  • ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, C182: Ratified 2001
  • UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol): Accession 2009
Social Protection Coverage

General (at least one): No data

Unemployed: No data

Pension: No data

Vulnerable: No data

Children: No data

Disabled: No data

Poor: No data

Measurement of child labour prevalence has evolved considerably over the past two decades. Estimates of child labour incidence are more robust and exist for more countries than any other form of exploitation falling under SDG Target 8.7.

No nationally representative data is available on child labour prevalence in United Arab Emirates.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on ILO-SIMPOC methods and guidelines for defining, measuring and collecting data on child labour.

Measuring the incidence of forced labour is a much more recent endeavour and presents unique methodological challenges compared to the measurement of child labour.

No nationally representative data is available on forced labour prevalence in United Arab Emirates.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page for information on new guidelines presented by the International Labour Organization and adopted by the International Conference of Labour Statisticians.

The challenges in estimating human trafficking are similar to those of estimating forced labour, though recent innovations in estimation have begun to produce prevalence estimates in developed countries.

No nationally representative data is available on human trafficking prevalence in United Arab Emirates.

Visit the How to Measure the Change page to learn about measuring human trafficking prevalence, including information on collecting data through national referral mechanisms and producing prevalence statistics using Multiple Systems Estimation (MSE).

Case Data: International and Non-Governmental Organizations

Civil society organizations (CSOs) focused on human trafficking victim assistance can serve as crucial sources of data given their ability to reach a population that is notoriously difficult to sample.

Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC): The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Polaris and Liberty Asia have launched a global data repository on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking partner organizations around the world. Not only does the CTDC serve as a central repository for this critical information, it also publishes normed and harmonized data from various organizations using a unified schema. This global dataset facilitates an unparalleled level of cross-border, trans-agency analysis and provides the counter-trafficking movement with a deeper understanding of this complex issue. Equipped with this information, decision makers will be empowered to create more targeted and effective intervention strategies.

Prosecution Data

UNODC compiles a global dataset on detected and prosecuted traffickers, which serves as the basis in their Global Report for country profiles. This information is beginning to paint a picture of trends over time, and case-specific information can assist investigators and prosecutors.

Key aspects of human development, such as poverty and lack of education, are found to be associated with risk of exploitation. Policies that address these issues may indirectly contribute to getting us closer to achieving Target 8.7.

Human Development Index (Source: UNDP)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of achievements in three key dimensions of human development: (1) a long and healthy life; (2) access to knowledge; and (3) a decent standard of living. Human development can factor into issues of severe labour exploitation in multiple ways.

The chart displays information on human development in United Arab Emirates between 1990 and 2018. Only certain sample years have data disaggregated by sex. 

The most recent year of the HDI, 2018, shows that the average human development score in United Arab Emirates is 0.866. This score indicates that human development is very high. 

 

HDI Education Index (Source: UNDP)

Lack of education and illiteracy are key factors that make both children and adults more vulnerable to exploitive labour conditions.

As the seminal ILO report Profits and Poverty explains:

“Adults with low education levels and children whose parents are not educated are at higher risk of forced labour. Low education levels and illiteracy reduce employment options for workers and often force them to accept work under poor conditions. Furthermore, individuals who can read contracts may be in a better position to recognize situations that could lead to exploitation and coercion.”

The bars on the chart represent the Education Index score and the line traces the mean years of education in United Arab Emirates over time.

 

Decent work, a major component of SDG 8 overall, has clear implications on the forms of exploitation within Target 8.7. Identifying shortcomings in the availability of equitable, safe and stable employment can be a step in the right direction towards achieving Target 8.7.

HDI Vulnerable Employment (Source: UNDP)

There are reasons to believe that certain types of labour and labour arrangements are more likely to lead to labour exploitation. According to the ILO:

“Own-account workers and contributing family workers have a lower likelihood of having formal work arrangements, and are therefore more likely to lack elements associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and a voice at work. The two statuses are summed to create a classification of ‘vulnerable employment’, while wage and salaried workers together with employers constitute ‘non-vulnerable employment’.”

Between 1991 and 2018, United Arab Emirates showed a decrease in the proportion of workers in vulnerable employment as compared to those in secure employment.

 

Labour Productivity (Source: ILO)

“Labour productivity is an important economic indicator that is closely linked to economic growth, competitiveness, and living standards within an economy.” However, when increased labour output does not produce rising wages, this can point to increasing inequality. As indicated by a recent ILO report (2015), there is a “growing disconnect between wages and productivity growth, in both developed and emerging economies”. The lack of decent work available increases vulnerability to situations of labour exploitation.

Labour productivity represents the total volume of output (measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product, GDP) produced per unit of labour (measured in terms of the number of employed persons) during a given period.

Research to date suggests that a major factor in vulnerability to labour exploitation is broader social vulnerability, marginalization or exclusion.

Groups Highly Vulnerable to Exploitation (Source: UNHCR)

Creating effective policy to prevent and protect individuals from forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour means making sure that all parts of the population are covered, particularly the most vulnerable groups, including migrants.

According to the 2016 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: “Almost one of every four victims of forced labour were exploited outside their country of residence, which points to the high degree of risk associated with migration in the modern world, particularly for migrant women and children. “

As IOM explains: “Although most migration is voluntary and has a largely positive impact on individuals and societies, migration, particularly irregular migration, can increase vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation.” UNODC similarly notes that: “The vulnerability to being trafficked is greater among refugees and migrants in large movements, as recognized by Member States in the New York declaration for refugees and migrants of September 2016.”

The chart displays UNHCR’s estimates of persons of concern in United Arab Emirates.

Achieving SDG Target 8.7 will require national governments to take direct action against the forms of exploitation through policy implementation.

Official Definitions
Forced Labour

Penal Code, 1987

“Article 347
shall be sentenced to detention for a term not exceeding one year and/or to a fine in excess of ten thousands dirham, whoever forces a person to work with or without pay to serve a personal interest in cases other than those admitted by law.”

Constitution, 1996

“Article 34
Every citizen shall be free to choose his occupation, trade or profession within the limits of the law, due consideration being given to any regulations prescribed for any such professions and trades.
No person may be subjected to forced labour except in exceptional circumstances provided for by the law and in return for compensation.
No man may be enslaved.”

Child Labour

Federal Decree 10 of 1438 on Domestic Workers, 2017

“Recruitment agencies Article (3)
2. The worker may only be recruited or hired in accordance with the conditions, regulations and procedures stipulated by this law, its implementing bylaws and ministerial decrees, as well as any other relevant legislations in force in the UAE, subject to compliance with the legal conditions required for the licensing of each
occupation – if any.
In all cases, it is prohibited to recruit or employ any worker under the age of 18.”

Employment Law (DIFC) 2005

“10 Hiring Children
A person shall not employ a child who is under fifteen (15) years of age.”

Federal Law 8 on Regulation of Labour Relations, 1980

“ARTICLE (20)
It is prohibited to employ a juvenile of either sex before he/she completes fifteen years of age.”

Decision of Camel Race Association regarding employment of children as camel jockeys, 2002

“Establishes that a camel jockey shall not be less than 15 years old. Camel jockey shall also be of good health, and be in possession of a medical certificate. Also provides for penalties for violation of these provisions.”

Federal Law 3 on Child Rights, 2016

“Article 1 – Definitions
In the implementation of the provisions of this Law, the following words and expressions shall have the meanings assigned against each unless the context requires otherwise:
Child: Every human being born alive and who is under eighteen years old.
Article 2 The competent authorities and the concerned entities shall: 1- Maintain the child’s right to life, survival and development and provide all necessary opportunities to facilitate the same and grant him/her a free, secure and developed life. 2- Protect the child from all forms of neglect, exploitation and abuse and from any physical and psychological violence that exceeds the limits of the Sharia and the Law, such as the rights of the parents and their equivalents to discipline their children.”

Article 14 The competent authorities and the concerned entities shall: 1- Prohibit the employment of children before the age of fifteen. 2- Prohibit the economic exploitation and employment in any works that may expose the child to risk, whether due to the work nature or circumstances. The Implementing Regulation of the Law and the Labour Law shall regulate the conditions and principles of child labour.

Worst Forms of Child Labour

Federal Law 8 on Regulation of Labour Relations, 1980

“ARTICLE (23)
Juveniles may not be employed at night in industrial projects. The term “”night”” shall mean a period of not less than twelve consecutive hours including the period from 8 p.m to 6 a.m.

ARTICLE (24)
Juveniles may not be employed in jobs which are considered hazardous, exhausting or detrimental to health as may be decided by the Minister of Labour after consulting with the competent authorities.

ARTICLE (25)
The maximum number of actual working hours for juveniles shall be six hours per day. During working hours one or more break times should be given for rest, meals or prayer purposes provided that such time should not be less than one hour. Such time or times have to be determined in a way that juveniles may not work consecutively over four hours. A juvenile may not remain continuously over seven hours at the place of work.

ARTICLE (26)
Under no circumstances, may juveniles by instructed to work overtime, stay in the employment premises beyond the hours of work fixed for them or asked to work on holidays.”

Ministerial Order 5/1 concerning operations that are dangerous, arduous or detrimental to health and for which it shall be unlawful to employ young persons therein, 1981

Federal Law 3 on Child Rights, 2016

Article 38 The following shall be prohibited: 1- To exploit the child for begging. 2- Child labour under illegal conditions. 3- Entrust the child with an act that would hinder his/her education or harm his/her health or physical, psychological, moral or mental integrity

Human Trafficking

Federal Law 51 on Combating human trafficking Crimes, 2006

“Article (1):
The following terms and expressions shall have the meanings set out against them, unless the context requires otherwise:
Child: Any person who is under 18 years old.”

“Article (1) bis (1):
1. Whoever commits any of the following shall be deemed a perpetrator of a human
trafficking crime:

a. Selling persons, offering persons for selling or buying, or promising the same.
b. Soliciting persons, employing, recruiting, transferring, deporting, harboring,
receiving, receiving or sending the same whether within the country or across the national borders thereof, by means of threat or use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability the person for the purpose of exploitation.
c. Giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation of the latter.

2. The following shall be deemed human trafficking, even if the same does not incorporate the use of any of the means provided in the previous Paragraph:

a. Recruiting a child, transferring, deporting, harboring or receiving the same for
the purpose of exploitation.
b. Selling a child, offering the same for selling or buying.

3. Under this Article, exploitation includes all forms of sexual exploitation, engaging others in prostitution, servitude, forced labor, organ-trafficking, coerced service, enslavement, mendicancy, and quasi-slavery practices.”

Federal Decree 10 of 1438 on Domestic Workers, 2017

“Recruitment agencies Article (3)
3. If the workers are recruited or assigned to temporary employment by a third party basis, the law prohibits the following:

a. Discrimination among workers on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, political opinion, national or social origin.
b. The worker’s verbal or physical sexual harassment.
c. Forced labour or human trafficking as defined in national laws and ratified international conventions”

Slavery

Constitution, 1996

“Article 34
Every citizen shall be free to choose his occupation, trade or profession within the limits of the law, due consideration being given to any regulations prescribed for any such professions and trades.
No person may be subjected to forced labour except in exceptional circumstances provided for by the law and in return for compensation.
No man may be enslaved.”

Governments can take action to assist victims and to prevent and end the  perpetration of forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. These actions should be considered in wider societal efforts to reduce prevalence and move towards eradication of these forms of exploitation.

Programs and Agencies for Victim Support

Policies for Assistance
Policies for Assistance, Human Trafficking

Federal Law 51 on Combating human trafficking Crimes, 2006

“Article (11) bis (1):
1. It shall be impermissible to interrogate the victim, civilly or criminally for any crime
of the crimes stipulated in this Law, whenever the same is established or directly
connected to being a victim.
2. In exception of the provision of Clause (1) of this Article, it shall be permissible to
interrogate the victim civilly and criminally on the human trafficking crime in the following cases:

a. If he/she contributed in person, without being subject to any coercion whether
moral or material, to the perpetration of one of the human-trafficking crimes.
b. If the person is a foreigner incoming to the country for work, and violated the
work contract and the residence regulation.
c. If the person failed to report the crime or the collusion thereof to the competent
authorities while being able to.”

“Article (13) bis :
The victim of human-trafficking crimes shall be exempted from civil-case fees upon filing the same to claim compensation for the damage resulting from the exploitation thereof in a human trafficking crime.”

Policies for Assistance, General

Federal Law 3 on Child Rights, 2016

Penalties
Penalties, Forced Labour

Penal Code, 1987

“Article 347

shall be sentenced to detention for a term not exceeding
one year and/or to a fine in excess of ten thousands Dirhams,
whoever forces a person to work with or without pay to serve a
personal interest in cases other than those admitted by law.”

Penalties, Child Labour

Federal Decree 10 of 1438 on Domestic Workers, 2017

“Article (30)
1. Without prejudice to a harsher penalty mandated by another applicable law, any person who violates any of the provisions of article (3) sections 1, 2, 3 or 4 of this law shall be made to pay a penalty of no less than 50,000 Dirhams and no more than 100,000 Dirhams. The penalty shall be doubled if the violation is repeated within a year from the conviction date.
2. A recruitment agency that violates any of the provisions of article (4) of this law shall be subjected to the same penalties described in section 1 of this article.”

Federal Law 8 on Regulation of Labour Relations, 1980

“CHAPTER XI PENALTIES
ARTICLE (181)*
Without prejudice to any severe penalty provided for in another law of imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, and a fine not less than Dhs three thousand and not more than Dhs. ten thousand or either of the two penalties shall be inflicted to:

1. Any person who violates any of the obligatory provisions of this Law or any of
the executive regulations or orders issued thereunder.
2. Any person who hinders or prevents any of the official assigned to enforce the provisions of this Law or any of is executive regulations or resolutions, or whoever attempts or starts to prevent him form performing his job either by force or violence or by threatening to use force or violence.
3. An official entrusted with the implementations of the provisions hereof and who disclose any confidential matter in respect of work, or any industrial patent or any other activities of work which may have come to his knowledge, in the course of his assignment, even though he has left the work.”

Decision of Camel Race Association regarding employment of children as camel jockeys, 2002

“Establishes that a camel jockey shall not be less than 15 years old. Camel jockey shall also be of good health, and be in possession of a medical certificate. Also provides for penalties for violation of these provisions.”

Federal Law 3 on Child Rights, 2016

Article 68 Whoever violates the provisions of Article (14) or (38) hereof shall be punished by imprisonment and/or a fine not less than AED (20,000) twenty thousand. If the work endangers the life of the child who has not reached fifteen years of age or endangers his/her physical, mental or moral integrity, this shall be considered as aggravating circumstances.

Penalties, Human Trafficking

Federal Law 51 on Combating human trafficking Crimes, 2006

“Article (2):
Whoever commits any of the human trafficking crimes provided for in Article (1) bis of this Law shall be punished by temporary imprisonment for a term of no less than five years, and a fine of no less than one hundred thousand AED.
The penalty of life imprisonment shall apply in any one of the following cases:

1. If the victim is a child or a person with disability.
2. If the act is committed by threat of murder or grave harm or involved physical or
psychological torture, or if the perpetrator was armed.
3. The perpetrator of the crime has created or assumed a leading role in an organized
criminal gang, has been a member therein or participated in the actions thereof while being aware of the purposes of such gang.
4. The perpetrator is the spouse, a relative, antecedent, descendant, or guardian of the victim.
5. If the perpetrator is a public servant, or assigned to public service, where he exploited the occupation or assignments thereof to commit the crime.
6. If the committed crime is trans-national.
7. If the victim has been inflicted, as a result of the crime, with an incurable disease or
permanent disability.”

Penalties, General

Federal Decree 10 of 1438 on Domestic Workers, 2017

“Penalties Article (29)
Without prejudice to a harsher penalty mandated by another applicable law, shall be incarcerated for a period not exceeding 6 months and charged a fine of no less than 10,000 Dirhams and no more than 100,000 Dirhams or subjected to one of these two penalties:
1. Any person who hinders or prevents any officer entrusted with the enforcement of the provisions of this law, its bylaws or implementing decrees from carrying out his/her duties.
2. Any officer entrusted with the enforcement of the provisions of this law who discloses any secrets that he/she accesses in the course of performing his/her duties, even if the disclosure occurs after the officer has left his/her post.
3. Any person who facilitates the abandonment by the worker of his/her work or provides him/her with shelter for the purpose of exploiting the worker or provide him/her with unauthorized employment. The court may order the expulsion of this person upon conviction”

“Article (30)
1. Without prejudice to a harsher penalty mandated by another applicable law , any person who violates any of the provisions of article (3) sections 1, 2, 3 or 4 of this law shall be made to pay a penalty of no less than 50,000 Dirhams and no more than 100,000 Dirhams. The penalty shall be doubled if the violation is repeated within a year from the conviction date.
2. A recruitment agency that violates any of the provisions of article (4) of this law shall be subjected to the same penalties described in section 1 of this article.”

Penal Code, 1987

Data Commitments

A Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, Not signed

1.ii. Take steps to measure, monitor and share data on prevalence and response to all such forms of exploitation, as appropriate to national circumstances;

Programs and Agencies for Enforcement

Measures to address the drivers of vulnerability to exploitation can be key to effective prevention. A broad range of social protections are thought to reduce the likelihood that an individual will be at risk of exploitation, especially when coverage of those protections extends to the most vulnerable groups.

Social Protection Coverage: (Source: ILO)

The seminal ILO paper on the economics of forced labour, Profits and Poverty, explains the hypothesis that social protection can mitigate the risks that arise when a household is vulnerable to sudden income shocks, helping to prevent labour exploitation. It also suggests that access to education and skills training can enhance the bargaining power of workers and prevent children in particular from becoming victims of forced labour. Measures to promote social inclusion and address discrimination against women and girls may also go a long way towards preventing forced labour.

The ILO measures social protections coverage through the Social Security Inquiry (SSI). Every two years, national governments, including responsible ministries, provide data to the SSI on social protections including coverage and expenditure.

There are no visualizations, as there is not a sufficient amount of data provided on social protections for the Arab States region.