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UAE: Three Migrant Workers Commit Suicide in One Week

On March 11, 2011

News reports coming from the UAE indicate that within six days, two migrant workers took their own lives while another worker attempted to kill herself.

In the first case, a 23-year-old Indonesian maid attempted to end her life by overdosing on pills in the home of her Emirati employers in the Ras al-Khaimah emirate. The maid was found in critical condition by her employers on the morning of March 3rd and rushed to the hospital. On March 9th, two dead bodies of migrant workers were found in the Sharjah emirate one hour apart. The Sharjah police was informed of the death of 28-year-old Sandy K. at 18:45. His body was found hanging on a cord of a ceiling fan in his room in a labor camp in Industrial Area 4. At 20:00 the police was dispatched to a migrant bachelor apartment in Industrial Area 10 where they found the body of 24-year-old Raj L. hanging from the ceiling.

Cases of suicide by migrant workers in the UAE are unfortunately all too common. Workers are driven to suicide due to harsh working and living conditions and abuse from employers. Workers are unable to leave employers because of huge debts to recruitment companies and they're unable to change sponsors under UAE's labor laws. This results in feelings of desperation and hopelessness that sometimes lead workers to attempt suicide. To this date, all investigations into suicide of workers in the UAE have resulted in zero employers being charged for abusing their workers and driving them to suicide.