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Workers made to live in boxes

On July 24, 2008

In what could be the one of the worst cases of poor accommodation ever reported in the UAE, over 200 labourers in the Emirati city of Dubai were discovered to be living in cardboard boxes for over three months. Their plight was only discovered after the worker's refusal to work last weekend, in protest against their inhumane living conditions.

A police source close to the investigation said workers were living in cardboard boxes and squalid conditions that violated health and safety regulations.

“There were temporary bathrooms and kitchens and electricity wires and cables extensions were placed randomly, causing serious danger,” he said. “There were many gas cylinders and flammable construction materials around. It was a disaster waiting to happen.”

The men had been living on the lower floor of a building still under construction in an area that would become parking space.

A case has been filed against the manager of the contracting company, and it is our hope that justice will be served.