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How to Report Incidents of Discrimination in the UAE: Understanding Your Rights

Learn the steps to report discrimination, the relevant laws and available support channels in UAE

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 4, 2024, 12:32:34

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If you are facing discrimination in the UAE, it is important to know your rights and the steps you can take to report such incidents. The UAE has established comprehensive laws to combat discrimination, hatred and extremism. Below is an overview of the relevant law and the steps you can take to report discrimination.

Federal Law by Decree No (34) of 2023 Concerning Combating Discrimination, Hatred, and Extremism

Promulgated by President Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, this law aims to combat discrimination, hatred, and extremism in the UAE.

The law defines key terms such as blasphemy, discrimination, hate speech and extremism, and addresses prohibited acts including the manufacture and distribution of materials promoting these offences. It also mandates the establishment of counselling centres for individuals at risk of extremism and the creation of lists of extremist organisations and individuals, with legal procedures for inclusion and appeal.

Public employees and religious figures committing these crimes face aggravated penalties. Additionally, the law provides for exemptions for individuals who report crimes before they occur and outlines jurisdiction for federal courts in cases involving listed extremists. The law repeals conflicting provisions from previous laws and comes into effect one month after publication in the Official Gazette.

Crimes and Penalties under Federal Law by Decree No (34) of 2023

  • Blasphemy: Includes insulting the Divine, religions, prophets, or houses of worship. Penalties range from imprisonment to fines between Dh250,000 to Dh2,000,000.
  • Discrimination: Any form of discrimination based on religion, creed, race, colour, ethnic origin, gender, or sex. Penalties include imprisonment and fines from Dh500,000 to Dh1,000,000.
  • Hate Speech: Incitement of hate or discriminatory speech. Penalties involve imprisonment and fines from Dh500,000 to Dh1,000,000.
  • 8 Incitement of Tribal Strife: Intentional incitement of hatred between individuals or groups. Penalties include imprisonment and fines starting from Dh50,000.
  • Aggravating Circumstances: Involvement of public employees or religious figures in crimes under this law. Penalties can lead to imprisonment for up to 5 years and fines starting from Dh500,000.
  • Exploitation of Religion: Accusation of infidelity for personal gain, which may lead to severe penalties including imprisonment up to execution if resulting in murder.

Prohibited Acts

  • Manufacture/Distribution of Materials: Producing or disseminating products promoting blasphemy or hate. Penalties range from imprisonment to fines from Dh500,000 to Dh2,000,000.
  • Possession for Distribution: Possession of materials with the intent to incite blasphemy or discrimination. Penalties include imprisonment and fines from Dh50,000 to Dh200,000.
  • Establishing Extremist Organisations: Formation or participation in extremist groups. Penalties involve imprisonment ranging from 7 to 10 years.

Report Discrimination

If you face discrimination in the UAE, you can report it to government authorities. Discrimination is a crime, and there are several channels available to file complaints:

  • Online Channels of the UAE Police: You can report discrimination through the UAE police’s online platforms across the country.
  • Judicial Authorities: Filing a lawsuit through judicial authorities is another option.
  • Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation: Private sector employees can report workplace discrimination via the ministry’s online channels.
  • Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR): Government sector employees can report grievances through FAHR’s online platforms.

Human Rights Issues

Human rights issues can be reported online through the eServices of:

  • Human Rights Office - Judicial Department, Abu Dhabi
  • Community Development Authority (CDA): Contact CDA at the toll-free number 8002121 or email human_rights@cda.gov.ae.
  • Ministry of Tolerance and Co-existence: For any discrimination issues, you can contact the Ministry of Tolerance and Co-existence at info@tolerance.gov.ae.
  • National Human Rights Institution: The UAE's National Human Rights Institution is also available for any complaints related to human rights.

For any enquiries or information, contact ask@tlr.ae or call us on +971 52 644 3004Follow The Law Reporters on WhatsApp Channels.

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