Arab Liberal and Human Rights Groups – Literature review Example

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The paper “ Arab Liberal and Human Rights Groups” is a  cogent version of the literature review on politics. The recent past has seen human rights in the Arab countries dominate debates. In the contemporary focus on human rights throughout the world, nations are struggling to provide better living conditions replete with strict consideration of the human rights provisions for their citizens. Even so, Arab liberal and human rights groups have noted with concern the gross violation of human rights and maltreatment of both citizens and immigrants in the Middle Eastern countries and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

Reports from the UNHCR and other associated organisations indicate deplorable working and living conditions for immigrants in certain countries with blatant disregard for the most basic of human rights. In particular, gay rights, freedom of speech, the right to education, especially for women, freedom of worship, and gender equality are some of the areas of concern. In some cases, women have restricted roles that are typical of the traditional gender-segregated society where women were complete subordinates of their male counterparts. It is on such grounds that the Arab Liberal Federation (F) was formed in the year 2008.

The Liberal organization was formed to break the shackles of doom and bounds of human rights that imposed strict limitations on some groups of people in most of the Arab countries. The gravity of the situation is particularly evident in the move by Saudi Arabia to withhold its signature during the UN’ s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in the year 1948. Just like Saudi Arabia, then most of the Arab countries hold sharia law with high regards and strictly follow its provisions on the rights and freedoms of men and women.

The discrepancies and fault lines in the sharia laws that allow for the violation of human rights have since led to debates and conferences with a view to harmonizing the sharia law with international human rights provisions to improve the human rights conditions in the Arab world. The following report highlights the human rights violation in the GCC member states and the Middle Eastern Arab countries, possible remedial steps against such violations, and proposes means and ways of achieving development in the Arab countries. Human Rights Violation in Arab countries Forced Labour in the UAEArguably, the last ten years, or so, have seen the UAE’ s economy grow in leaps to launch emirates like Dubai and Abu Dhabi on top of the world economic platform in lieu of other economic giants like the U. S.A and China.

While the development and economic boom is a positive and necessary change, it has not yet seemed so for millions of immigrant workers in the region. The migrant laborers are drawn from Middle Eastern countries, Africa, and other parts of Asia.

According to Baderin (2003), the UAE embarked on mass deportation of all the migrants who tested positive for HIV/AIDS in 1998 despite their massive contributions to nation-building. Similarly, those that were found with HBV, leprosy, or HCV had their visas canceled. This is a show that human rights violation in the GCC is a matter that has been in existence for decades. It is noteworthy that Arabs are old-habit diehards and have stuck with some of their past exploitative systems.

The ‘ Kafala’ system is one such framework that has encouraged forced labor in the region. In the year 2011, it was estimated that the UAE, among all the six countries in the GCC, had the highest number of foreign workers standing at 85% by the 2008 population census (Abdullah 2009). The ‘ Kafala’ system applies to migrant laborers and involves retaining the passports of the foreign workers with a view to controlling their employment and residency. On that note, the prospective employers have complete control over the salaries, nutrition, ability to return home, and living conditions of the foreign workers leaving the workers at the mercy of their employers.

Elizabeth (1995) adds that the laws of the region are more inclined towards employers.



Abdulaziz, MA 2010, ‘Saudi Arabia's engagement in, and interaction with, the UN human rights system: an analytical review’, The International Journal of Human Rights, pp. 1085.

Abdullah, A, 2009, ‘Law, Religion and Human Dignity in the Muslim World Today: An Examination of OIC's Cairo Declaration of Human Rights,’ Journal of Law and Religion, pp. 571

Anver, M, Emon, ME & Benjamin, G 2012, Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Baderin, MA 2003, International Human Rights and Islamic Law, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 141.

Brems, E 2001, ‘Islamic Declarations of Human Rights,’ Human rights: universality and diversity: Volume 66 of International studies in human rights, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, pp. 241–84

Elizabeth MA 1995, Islam and Human Rights Tradition and Politics, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado.

Human Rights Watch 2013, Egypt: Epidemic of Sexual Violence, 3 July, viewed 5 December 2016,

Levine, DA 2002, Building Classroom Communities: Strategies for Developing a Culture of Caring. Solution Tree, Bloomington.

Rafei, R 2008, ‘United Arab Emirates: Selling immigrants into sex slavery,’ Los Angeles Times, 3 October.

Sherry, VN 2004, ‘Bad dreams: Exploitation and abuse of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia,’ Human Rights Watch, 16 (5E).

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