Buying a one way ticket into slavery, their dreams turn into nightmares when they are stuck in countries without jobs, with no Embassy nor Labour Unions to support them to get out of their enslavement, they are Camps. This is the same migrant labor force that remits approx US $ 20 Billion annually, filling India’s coffers, yet every Non Resident Indian loses their right to vote and voice once they go overseas. How can a nation be successful when it cannot take care of their migrant workers? Why does the Indian Embassy shirk from providing basic human right protection to their overseas Indians? Isn’t this the most important duty in any Embassy’s remit? Ending up working illegally, either as drivers, daily wage labourers, masons, bricklayers, they often fall into crime traps. And the Embassy still looks away…..

In January 2009, allegedly a territorial dispute broke out between two groups of illegal migrant workers who sold alcohol in the camps, resulting in the death of one (Misri Khan) and seriously injuring three more Pakistanis. The police rounded up 50 Sikh workers, releasing most, except the 17 accused of murder. After 18 hearings in the lower courts of Sharjah, a year plus behind bars, on March 29 2010 they were condemned to death. This raised the ante Human Rights Lawyers, local press and Sikh/Punjabi Community in UAE, a nation where Indian Expatriates account for approximately 40 percent of the nation’s population vs. 20 percent Emirati population.
Note: What are the Embassies Doing?


This case will benchmark change no matter what the verdict is. For years the Indian Expats and Emiratis live between power and protection; diametrically different communities coexisting in harmony for decades, with deep respect for Islamic Law, and even deeper faith in local rulers. The Hindu/Muslim cultural relationships with their historical friendships and fissiparous tendencies face a litmus test too. Importantly the Indian Embassy’s reputation for callousness against the migrant workers put the world’s largest democracy on trial. Following this trial, from appeal to sentencing; we seek to create an awareness of the due processes of Islamic courts. We also hope to create resources for media and family members of missing migrant workers; a sort of safe heaven where they can consistently look for first-hand information, in absence of news.

As we work to share this with global audiences, we hope to set in accountability for the Indian bureaucracy. Through a cross media strategy will try to consistently update the media, with news and video clippings, sharing first person voices of victims, their stories the urgency of their situation both in UAE and India. Hoping to create awareness and stir dialogue around of the real issues behind migrants in an increasingly globalized world. Witnessing defence being built first hand gave us a rare insight into the Shariya Courts; their deep values, the judiciary systems and its unique manner of protection of victims and punishment of crime.

‘1700 Indian Migrant Workers Still languish behind bars…Thousands more in Labor Camps-