On 10 September 2019, UAE security forces prevented eighteen migrants from being smuggled clandestinely in hollowed out beds of a truck at the Buraimi-Al Ain checkpoint, at the border with Oman.
Police declared that the endeavours to enter illegally the country can lead to other crimes (stealing, assaults and murder) and the security forces are working determinedly to protect the citizens and to improve homeland security. The aim is to safeguard the society enhancing the control procedures.
However, the attempt of smuggling 18 people into the country is one of the consequences of the kafala system. Migrant workers leave their native land looking for better economic prospects; they rely on recruitment agencies to find better jobs at their destination, but once they arrive, their initial promises of a new and better life are infringed.
Migrant workers become victims of human trafficking; they are not able to bear the visa costs, the employers confiscate their passport, they have to work long hours receiving paltry wages, and they suffer physical and sexual abuses. Moreover, they could be arrested because they are considered irregular.
The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) solicit the UAE and the other Gulf countries to abolish the kafala system, to prosecute human traffickers and to protect migrant workers rights.