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Abuses continue at Abu Dhabi’s Museum Island

Human Rights Watch, an organization dedicated to defending and protecting human rights, wrote in a report published yesterday (LINK) that on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi — the site of future spaces of the Louvre and Guggenheim Museum — although the conditions for migrant workers have improved, abuses continue.

The 85-page report, in which 47 volunteer workers were involved, attests to the “continuing gaps in protections” for the workers. A group of activists and artists have been monitoring the conditions of workers in the building site. “For too long, migrant workers in the U.A.E. have toiled in abusive conditions, with private and public developers showing little concern,” stated Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Now, finally, Emirati developers and their international partners have stepped up to the plate on SaadiyatIsland to start to protect workers, but they will need to do more to curtail the abuses.” Moreover, the workers often have to pay a heavy fee to obtain the job. But as the report states, the improvements are in regular payment of wages, rest breaks, days off and medical insurance.