Sharjar, UAE, May 2006: A portrait of a migrant labourer in an area close to Dubai where he is installing a well for ongoing construction. He is one of over a million construction workers working in Dubai. These sites are filled with construction labourers in Dubai live in labour camps.The camps are often over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant construction labourers working in Dubai line up to board a bus which will take them back to their labour camp for the night. The camp is over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A scale model of a new development for sale at the Emirates Mall in Dubai. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Tourists lounge on a beach in the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers stare at a sunbathing tourist as they take a break on a beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A view of part of the massive construction of exclusive new developments in the Dubai Marina area. Apartments rent out here often at a minimum of $2000 a day. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Nervous Asian migrant labourers avoid the camera as they take a swim on a tourist beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers take a break at a beach popular with tourists in the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers stare at tourist lifestyle as they take a break on a beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers take a break on a beach adjacent to the Burj Al Arab, the world's only seven star hotel, the ultimate sign of privelige in the Gulf. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers working in the construction industry work on the construction of a bridge in the Dubai Marina area. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A view over part of the massive construction of exclusive new developments in the Dubai Marina area. Apartments rent out here often at a minimum of $2000 a day. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Exhausted migrant construction labourers working in Dubai take advantage of a break to get some sleep. Construction labourers in Dubai live in labour camps.The camps are often over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: Illegal day labourers congregate at 5am in Rolla Square in Sharjah in hope of being hired for the day. These workers are made up of men from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and are men who have either been abandoned by the companies that previously employed them or have been fired as a result of work disputes over pay and conditions. Very few of them have their passports and documents as those were kept by their previous employers from the moment they entered the country. These men often live 15 to a room in this area and receive no support other than the remote possibility of regular but illegal day jobbing. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: Illegal day labourers congregate at 5am in Rolla Square in Sharjah in hope of being hired for the day. These workers are made up of men from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and are men who have either been abandoned by the companies that previously employed them or have been fired as a result of work disputes over pay and conditions. Very few of them have their passports and documents as those were kept by their previous employers from the moment they entered the country. These men often live 15 to a room in this area and receive no support other than the remote possibility of regular but illegal day jobbing. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: An abandoned migrant labourer sits on a rooftop in a squallid makeshift camp in Sharjah, the Emirate next to Dubai. This man and another 300 workers were abandoned by their company East Coast Hamria Construction company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing workers were told they would be fortunate to receive even half of what they are owed. Comments like these were common at the camp. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Most of the workers have only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently seco

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: Abandoned migrant workers in a makeshift camp in Sharjah. The man on crutches, Abdul Manan, 55, fell 5 stories and broke his pelvis just before they were abandoned but has received no medical assistance since the abandonment. These men were working for the Ayoubco General Construction Company when the Eygptian owners fled the country over 6 months ago. The workers are all owed 6 months wages and have been told that they must leave the camp despite having nowhere else to go and no documents by which to return to their own countries and no finances. The workers have received no help from their respective embassies in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently th

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006:An abandoned migrant labourer washes in squallid conditions in a makeshift labour camp in Sharjah, UAE. He is one of many in this camp hoping for solution which is slow in coming. Their former employers, The Ayoubco General Construction Company, abandoned them when the Eygptian owners fled the country. The many workers in this makeshift camp are all owed 6 months wages and have been told that they must leave the camp despite having nowhere else to go and no documents by which to return to their own countries and no finances. The workers have received no help from their respective embassies in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: An abandoned migrant labourer stands outside a squallid makeshift camp in Sharjah, the Emirate next to Dubai. This man and another 300 workers were abandoned by their company East Coast Hamria Construction company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing workers were told they would be fortunate to receive even half of what they are owed. Comments like these were common at the camp. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Most of the workers have only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second onl

SHARJAH, UAE MAY 2005: Channana Ram, 60, an abandoned worker, washes out of a bucket in squallid conditions in a makeshift camp for abandoned workers in Sharjah, UAE. RAm worked for 25 years for East Coast Hamria Construction Company. At 60 he was scheduled to retire and be payed out a 25 year service settlement for his retirement back to India. Instead he and over 300 other workers were abandoned by their company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing he was told he would be fortunate to receive even half of what he is owed. Channana has only been home 7 times in 25 years and has worked on many prominent building projects in Dubai. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Channana has only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the compa

 Sharjar, UAE, May 2006: A portrait of a migrant labourer in an area close to  Dubai where he is installing a well for ongoing construction. He is one of over a million construction workers working in Dubai. These sites are filled with construction labourers in Dubai live in labour camps.The camps are often over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant construction labourers working in Dubai line up to board a bus which will take them back to their labour camp for the night. The camp is over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A scale model of a new development for sale at the Emirates Mall in Dubai. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Tourists lounge on a beach in the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers stare at a sunbathing tourist as they take a break on a beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area.  The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A view of part of the massive construction of  exclusive new developments in the Dubai Marina area. Apartments rent out here often at a minimum of $2000 a day. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Nervous Asian migrant labourers avoid the camera  as they take a swim on a tourist beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area.  The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers take a break at a beach popular with tourists in the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers stare at tourist lifestyle as they take a break on a beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area.  The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers take a break on a beach adjacent to the Burj Al Arab, the world's only seven star hotel, the ultimate sign of privelige in the Gulf.  The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers working in the construction industry work on the construction of a bridge in the Dubai Marina area. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A view over part of the massive construction of  exclusive new developments in the Dubai Marina area. Apartments rent out here often at a minimum of $2000 a day. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Exhausted migrant construction labourers working in Dubai take advantage of a break to get some sleep. Construction labourers in Dubai live in labour camps.The camps are often over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
 Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: Illegal day labourers congregate at 5am in Rolla Square in Sharjah in hope of being hired for the day. These workers are made up of men from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and are men who have either been abandoned by the companies that previously employed them or have been fired as a result of work disputes over pay and conditions. Very few of them have their passports and documents as those were kept by their previous employers from the moment they entered the country. These men often live 15 to a room in this area and receive no support other than the remote possibility of regular but illegal day jobbing. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In
 Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: Illegal day labourers congregate at 5am in Rolla Square in Sharjah in hope of being hired for the day. These workers are made up of men from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and are men who have either been abandoned by the companies that previously employed them or have been fired as a result of work disputes over pay and conditions. Very few of them have their passports and documents as those were kept by their previous employers from the moment they entered the country. These men often live 15 to a room in this area and receive no support other than the remote possibility of regular but illegal day jobbing. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In
 Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: An abandoned migrant labourer sits on a rooftop in a squallid makeshift camp in Sharjah, the Emirate next to Dubai. This man and another 300 workers were abandoned by their company East Coast Hamria Construction company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing  workers were told they would be fortunate to receive even half of what they are owed.  Comments like these were common at the camp. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Most of the workers have only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently seco
 Sharjah, UAE, May 2006:  Abandoned migrant workers in a makeshift camp in Sharjah. The man on crutches, Abdul Manan, 55, fell 5 stories and broke his pelvis just before they were abandoned but has received no medical assistance since the abandonment. These men were working for the Ayoubco General Construction Company when the Eygptian owners fled the country over 6 months ago. The workers are all owed 6 months wages and have been told that they must leave the camp despite having nowhere else to go and no documents by which to return to their own countries and no finances. The workers have received no help from their respective embassies in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently th
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 Sharjah, UAE, May 2006:An abandoned migrant labourer washes in squallid conditions in a  makeshift labour camp in Sharjah, UAE. He is one of many in this camp hoping for solution which is slow in coming. Their former employers, The Ayoubco General Construction Company, abandoned them when the Eygptian owners fled the country. The many workers in this makeshift camp are all owed 6 months wages and have been told that they must leave the camp despite having nowhere else to go and no documents by which to return to their own countries and no finances. The workers have received no help from their respective embassies in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings
 Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: An abandoned migrant labourer stands outside a squallid makeshift camp in Sharjah, the Emirate next to Dubai. This man and another 300 workers were abandoned by their company East Coast Hamria Construction company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing  workers were told they would be fortunate to receive even half of what they are owed.  Comments like these were common at the camp. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Most of the workers have only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second onl
 SHARJAH, UAE MAY 2005: Channana Ram, 60, an abandoned worker, washes out of a bucket in squallid conditions in a makeshift camp for abandoned workers in Sharjah, UAE. RAm worked for 25 years for East Coast Hamria Construction Company. At 60 he was scheduled to retire and be payed out a 25 year service settlement for his retirement back to India. Instead he and over 300 other workers were abandoned by their company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing he was told he would be fortunate to receive even half of what he is owed. Channana has only been home 7 times in 25 years and has worked on many prominent building projects in Dubai. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Channana has only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the compa

Sharjar, UAE, May 2006: A portrait of a migrant labourer in an area close to Dubai where he is installing a well for ongoing construction. He is one of over a million construction workers working in Dubai. These sites are filled with construction labourers in Dubai live in labour camps.The camps are often over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant construction labourers working in Dubai line up to board a bus which will take them back to their labour camp for the night. The camp is over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A scale model of a new development for sale at the Emirates Mall in Dubai. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Tourists lounge on a beach in the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers stare at a sunbathing tourist as they take a break on a beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A view of part of the massive construction of exclusive new developments in the Dubai Marina area. Apartments rent out here often at a minimum of $2000 a day. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Nervous Asian migrant labourers avoid the camera as they take a swim on a tourist beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers take a break at a beach popular with tourists in the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers stare at tourist lifestyle as they take a break on a beach adjacent to the massive construction site which comprises much of the Dubai Marina area. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers take a break on a beach adjacent to the Burj Al Arab, the world's only seven star hotel, the ultimate sign of privelige in the Gulf. The workers are on sites that are right next to the beach and often come down and stare at the tourists who are a cultural anomaly for the workers. It is a glaring metaphor for privelige in a society where the vast majority of people earn less than $200 a month and work in virtual servitude. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Migrant labourers working in the construction industry work on the construction of a bridge in the Dubai Marina area. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: A view over part of the massive construction of exclusive new developments in the Dubai Marina area. Apartments rent out here often at a minimum of $2000 a day. Dubai is second only to Shanghai at this time in terms of the scale of construction work in the area. The construction work is being done by migrant labour who make up over 2 thirds of Dubai's population. Migrant labourers in Dubai live in labour camps which are often over 2 hours away. The workers generally work a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Dubai, UAE, May 2006: Exhausted migrant construction labourers working in Dubai take advantage of a break to get some sleep. Construction labourers in Dubai live in labour camps.The camps are often over 2 hours away and the workers have just finished a 12 hour shift. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In 2005, according to Human Rights Watch, there were 84 suicides by construction workers in Dubai. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: Illegal day labourers congregate at 5am in Rolla Square in Sharjah in hope of being hired for the day. These workers are made up of men from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and are men who have either been abandoned by the companies that previously employed them or have been fired as a result of work disputes over pay and conditions. Very few of them have their passports and documents as those were kept by their previous employers from the moment they entered the country. These men often live 15 to a room in this area and receive no support other than the remote possibility of regular but illegal day jobbing. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: Illegal day labourers congregate at 5am in Rolla Square in Sharjah in hope of being hired for the day. These workers are made up of men from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and are men who have either been abandoned by the companies that previously employed them or have been fired as a result of work disputes over pay and conditions. Very few of them have their passports and documents as those were kept by their previous employers from the moment they entered the country. These men often live 15 to a room in this area and receive no support other than the remote possibility of regular but illegal day jobbing. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings of discontent from the workers, with strikes at numerous sites over the non-payment of wages and harsh working conditions. In

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: An abandoned migrant labourer sits on a rooftop in a squallid makeshift camp in Sharjah, the Emirate next to Dubai. This man and another 300 workers were abandoned by their company East Coast Hamria Construction company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing workers were told they would be fortunate to receive even half of what they are owed. Comments like these were common at the camp. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Most of the workers have only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently seco

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: Abandoned migrant workers in a makeshift camp in Sharjah. The man on crutches, Abdul Manan, 55, fell 5 stories and broke his pelvis just before they were abandoned but has received no medical assistance since the abandonment. These men were working for the Ayoubco General Construction Company when the Eygptian owners fled the country over 6 months ago. The workers are all owed 6 months wages and have been told that they must leave the camp despite having nowhere else to go and no documents by which to return to their own countries and no finances. The workers have received no help from their respective embassies in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently th

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006:An abandoned migrant labourer washes in squallid conditions in a makeshift labour camp in Sharjah, UAE. He is one of many in this camp hoping for solution which is slow in coming. Their former employers, The Ayoubco General Construction Company, abandoned them when the Eygptian owners fled the country. The many workers in this makeshift camp are all owed 6 months wages and have been told that they must leave the camp despite having nowhere else to go and no documents by which to return to their own countries and no finances. The workers have received no help from their respective embassies in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second only to Shanghai in terms of the scale of construction underway on a 24 hour basis. All this is woefully underscrutinised by the Ministry of Labour, there are currently only 80 government inspectors for over 200 000 construction companies. Recently there have been rumblings

Sharjah, UAE, May 2006: An abandoned migrant labourer stands outside a squallid makeshift camp in Sharjah, the Emirate next to Dubai. This man and another 300 workers were abandoned by their company East Coast Hamria Construction company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing workers were told they would be fortunate to receive even half of what they are owed. Comments like these were common at the camp. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Most of the workers have only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the company owners abscond the workers are often abandoned without their documents or due payment. Over two thirds of the Dubai population is migrant labour with 1.1 million working in construction. Dubai is currently second onl

SHARJAH, UAE MAY 2005: Channana Ram, 60, an abandoned worker, washes out of a bucket in squallid conditions in a makeshift camp for abandoned workers in Sharjah, UAE. RAm worked for 25 years for East Coast Hamria Construction Company. At 60 he was scheduled to retire and be payed out a 25 year service settlement for his retirement back to India. Instead he and over 300 other workers were abandoned by their company over 18 months ago. In a protracted and prejudical court battle which is ongoing he was told he would be fortunate to receive even half of what he is owed. Channana has only been home 7 times in 25 years and has worked on many prominent building projects in Dubai. "If I don't get my payment, I will commit suicide, if they pay me what I am owed I will leave immediately. I have been cheated, me and my fellow workers, We completed our jobs on time and we deserve to get paid." Channana has only an expired passport and expired visa and has received no help from the Indian embassy in Dubai despite repeated requests. Workers in this camp all complained about the corruption endemic to the passport/visa process for labourers. "The government here in Dubai does not care about us, more than that, our own government does not care either." Recently there was trouble in Dubai as migrant labourers protested at harsh working conditions and pay disputes. The labourers work long shifts on the 24 hour sites and the labour camps are often over 2 hours away. The workers typically work a 12 hour shift in tough conditions. The majority of labourers come to Dubai from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. These workers operate in extreme temperatures in the desert climate, the majority earning under $200 a month. Many have to spend a third of that sum on food provided at the camps as part of their contract. Most sign recruitment contracts in their own countries which take them into debt for many years. Their passports are held by their employers once they reach the UAE and if the compa

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