x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Work camp inspectors sworn in

Another 134 inspectors responsible for ensuring minimum standards in labour camps were sworn in.

ABU DHABI // Another 134 inspectors responsible for ensuring minimum standards in labour camps were sworn in yesterday. The group of inspectors, who have completed an intensive training programme, included 24 women, taking the total number of female inspectors to 75, WAM, the official state news agency, reported. At the ceremony Saqr Ghobash, the Minister of Labour, stressed the important role played by the inspectors in protecting labour rights.

The growing number of women in the ministry's inspection section "reflects growth of consciousness among the UAE national women to their responsibilities in the community", he said. The new recruits have been trained in labour law, customer service and inspection standards. Labour conditions have come under scrutiny in recent years, and the country has faced pressure to raise standards following criticism by foreign media and human rights organisations.

A BBC documentary in March claimed that workers on some construction projects in Dubai were working in "inhumane conditions". Arabtec's Nad al Sheba camp, which was featured in the programme, is in the process of being closed, with more than 2,000 workers moved out last month. The Government said last month that any camps built from September would have to meet a set of minimum requirements, including restrictions on the number of workers per room and the provision of 24-hour medical facilities.

Eisa al Zarouni, the director of the Inspection Department in Dubai, said the department had been receiving a growing number of applications, showing increasing interest in the profession, particularly among Emiratis. The ministry would not provide figures for the total number of inspectors. lmorris@thenational.ae