Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The “Sharing of Good Practices on Shelters for Workers” Forum organized by the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) in cooperation with Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), was launched this morning in Dubai from May 1 to 2 at the Foundation’s headquarters, in conjunction with the international Labor Day, with the participation of more than 20 international and local delegations.
The Forum in Asia (MFA), is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of workers.
HE Afra Al Basti, Director General of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, said that the UAE, thanks to the vision and interest of its leadership, has become a destination for workers from around the world, which makes it a role model in providing support and care for the workers category.
She added that many entities that are concerned with the issues of workers are participating in this forum to exchange experiences and discuss the best ways to provide care and protection for them, especially with regard to the best practices of shelters for this category and how to develop their work.
Al Basti pointed out that organizing this forum comes from DFWAC’s role in providing care and protection to victims of violence, including the workers’ category, in accordance with the strategy of the Foundation and in line with the vision of the leadership in providing the best care for all who live in the UAE.
She added that the forum includes international and local experts who will discuss solutions to the most important challenges in this area. She also expressed her confidence that the outcomes of this forum will contribute to enhancing the capacities and efforts of the shelters to provide the best care and protection for workers.
Ashly William Gois, Regional Coordinator of the Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) said: “there is an increasing need to respond to workers of woman and sometimes men who have found themselves in situation of abuse and exploitation and to find a safe space where they can actually go to, and try to get the issues resolved”.
“The collaboration with DFWAC is very important because we need to learn from each other as organizations that are running shelters, and there are like 25 organizations here in today’s forum that are running shelters to learn from each other the practices, challenges and opportunities”.
Gois also praised the efforts of DFWAC stressing on how important it is to establish a reliable network of shelters in different countries, in term of case referral and communicating with the families of the cases.
The first session of the forum discussed the importance of the shelter centers and how they were established. The second session was held under the title of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children-A Model for UAE Shelters, during which Ghanima Al Bahri, Care & Rehabilitation Director at DFWAC reviewed the Foundation’s facilities, services and policies, as well as the rehabilitation methods used.
The first day of the forum concluded with a session on Effective Assistance and Accompaniment, where it discussed the administrative structure of the shelters and standard operating procedures and the short-term support it provides to workers during their stay.
The second day of the forum includes a session on the life of workers after the shelter which includes long-term assistance such as rehabilitation, repatriation, compensations, restitutions, etc., as well as another session on how shelters are linked to various governance of ,.