A report on the conditions for laborers at the New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi campus found that around 10,000 workers contracted by the school to build the grounds did so under revolting conditions.
Before starting the job, many of the 10,000 workers had their passports taken by their employers, leading to a situation that made it impossible for them to exit the country.
In 2009, NYU issued a “statement of labor values,” regarding its workers in the Gulf State. However, a New York Times 2014 report found that the workers suffered gross human rights abuses.
The Times interviewed dozens of workers in an effort to understand the real conditions on the campus. The report found that laborers were often violently beaten, and had to pay a “recruitment fee” of roughly one year’s salary just to gain employment.
NYU had previously stated that the UAE workers would face no more than 48 hours per week, but some employees told the Times that they would put in 12 hour days for six or seven days per week.
A 2014 Human Rights Watch report on conditions at the UAE NYU campus came to similar conclusions. It found that the Gulf state had engineered a “system that facilitates the force labor of migrant workers.”
Nardello and Company conducted its own independent investigation and released a 72-page report on the matter Thursday. The company found that conditions had improved after the media reports exposed its primitive labor conditions and released its own recommendations on how the UAE migrant worker’s rights could be better protected.