Feb. 14--In a major step to protect the rights of blue collar workers, India's eMigrate system will be linked to the UAE's Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation within a few months, the Indian envoy to the UAE told Khaleej Times.

"We have established a technical group to link the eMigrate system with that of the UAE national system. Once that happens, and I expect it to happen in three to four months, we can start the process," Navdeep Singh Suri said during an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to the effect in Abu Dhabi during the state visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE on February 10.

"The problem that is so endemic of contract substitution.Somebody gets a contract of Dh2,000 and come here and finds that they are getting only Dh1,500. This will end. We do want a maximum of workers to come through the e-migrate system because that enables them a degree of protection. And once we integrate that into the UAE system, then it really does make a quantum leap in terms of protecting the rights of our workers," said Suri.

The Indian eMigrate system launched in 2015 is an online registration system for foreign employers to recruit Indian workers. Indian citizens who have Emigration Check Required (ECN) stamp on their passports have to get their job offers cleared through the eMigrate system. The process was introduced after scores of Indian workers fell victims to unscrupulous recruiting agents who cheated them with bogus offers.

Since its inception, a total of 40,000 foreign companies have registered with eMigrate system. In 2017 alone, more than 200,000 workers have come to the UAE through eMigrate.

UAE mulls new platform

Elaborating on how the new move can prevent malpractices in labour recruitment, the ambassador said once the systems are linked, the same job contract that is filed under e-migrate will also be accessible under the UAE system.

"The job contract will also be in a format that is acceptable to the UAE laws, so that, should there be a violation of the contractual terms agreed in the job offer, there is legal protection available for the aggrieved party."

Suri said the UAE Ministry of Human resources and Emiratisation is currently constructing its own platform. "And what is important is to have that handshake between the two database systems so that we can work with each other."

The new MoU to cooperate in the field of manpower will also see both the countries collaborate to end the existing malpractices, combat trafficking and organise collaborative programmes for education and awareness of contractual workers.

anjana@khaleejtimes.com

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