CHAPTER 3: HOW THE RESEARCH ON THE GCC INTERNATIONAL LABOR RIGHTS WILL BE DONE
The focus of the study will be placed on the methods used in the gathering of the data for the research. These will include the area of study, the research design, sampling methods and description, the research instruments, the reliability and validity of the study, data collection process, data analysis and the study limitations.
The research will be carried out through the use of a cross-sectional survey design in which a cross section of the officials will be offered and requested to fill questionnaires by providing apt responses. Qualitative research will be taken on for the current study and will also be employed in the in-depth analysis of information gathered from the study participants on the sensitive matter regarding the human and labor rights of the migrant laborer in the GCC economic sectors: the function of the labor ministries and the ministries foreign affairs with regards to the enforcement of the minimum wages and fair payments. The questionnaires for the research will after that be classified and presented statistically in a tabula form.
Research Location or Study Area
The study will be performed in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the UAE in general. The country has been chosen as the preferred research destination as a consequence of its large migrant laborers’ population from regions such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Africa, with the migrant population making up more than 90% of the nation’s private workforce (Ruhs, 2013).
Also, the study will be carried out and limited to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which are two of the seven Emirates making up UAE, as a result of the several restrictions with regards to the time scope and easy access to resources and government officials in the cities for the researcher. Further, the interviews will be carried out mostly at the governmental offices and station, and in given case using e-mail-based correspondences, especially in instances doubts exist over the researcher’s motives in relation to the interview, or even in instances where the officials cannot be reached during the work hours.
The study will utilize purposive sampling in which the researcher targets a group of participants that are believed to be dependable for the current research on purpose and, for that reason, the cases that are information rich are prone to be sampled so as to enable participation in the study. Purposive sampling has been touted as being a research method in which the researcher is tasked with deciding on the inclusion of individuals within the study sample founded on criteria that include the individuals’ knowledge with regards to the issue under study, ability and the approval of participation within the process in order to be capable of contributing aptly (Sherif, 2013). The study will, therefore, commences with the review of available literature regarding the GCC migrant workforce’ human and labor rights. Thus, the review of migrant laborers’ human and labor rights in the GCC will assist in the acquisition of the apt perspective with regards to the labor and immigration regulation policies and the kafala system in relation to the receiving and sending nations.
The literature review will also assist the researcher in acknowledging the existing gaps in the human and labor rights in the GCC, and also assist in the establishment of the study’ research problem. The literature will also take in a number of hypothetical works by varied scholars, migration regulations and labor policies, and migrant laborers’ rights advocacy materials among others. Nevertheless, the review of the literature is predicted to be able to bring out the observation that necessary data with regards to migrant working in the GCC will not be readily accessible (Fernandez, 2010). Due to these observations, attempts will be made with the objective of providing data in relation to the approvals and availability. The in-depth interviews will be individuals oriented and highly sensitive, and will also entail the sharing of experiences among the respondents over and above the participants accounting for their lives using their own words (Foley & Foley, 2010). The extant study, therefore, will make use of both secondary and primary research methods. The research will make use of various works of literature, in-depth interviews, surveys, policy reviews and questionnaires, books, journal articles, commentaries, case studies and evaluations found in reports as the research methods in gathering, interpreting and analyzing the various findings obtained from the field. The methodological framework will be selected based on the research project context in which a combination of the methodologies will offer a detailed data along with feedback that will hold up the research purpose.
The in-depth interviews will be utilized given that they are basically investigative conversations between the researcher and the participant, even as they have several pros and cons linked to them. With regards to the pros, it can be noted that in-depth interviews might offer a richer store of both anecdotal and descriptive data that determines the variables, hypotheses and patterns for further researches. As such, the in-depth interview will be carried out by the researcher with the migrant workers and the government officers and will look into the trajectories of migration, human and labor rights, the working and living conditions, the efforts by the government to assist the migrant laborers, and the various labor laws. Thus, a semi-structured interview schedule will be developed with the objective of guiding the conversation with the study participants even though more focus will be placed on their stories. The interview questions will mainly be open-ended and will be left so following the initial commencement of the sharing of the individual opinions. The interviews will be carried out using the snowball and purposive sampling given the relevancy of the two sampling methods to the study. The researcher will initially be tasked with the selection of the respondents on the basis of accessibility, appropriateness and availability, even as the remaining participants will be chosen based on their departmental networks. That is, the purposive sampling will be employed in finding of the divergent entry points with regards to the authorities concerned. After that, the snowball technique will be employed through assistance of the initial participants.
With regards to the snowball sampling technique, the research is tasked with finding the participants on the basis of identification through the extant participants (Shah, 2006). Snowball sampling might bring about biases towards the participants sharing given attributes and/or being increasingly visible and this is liable to impact the representivity (Foley & Foley, 2010). For that reason, particular focus will be placed on connecting with the different entry points as well as their connections. The researcher will stretch out to different networks at the same time so as to follow the chain established by a participant, and only the pertinent persons who will be finalized for the interview. Even as in-depth interviews are regarded as the primary information source, the researcher will additionally reflect through his observations throughout the surveys in a bid to establish the degree to which the data collected was precise with respect to the circumstances at hand.
The sample that will partake in the research will total to 30 individuals who will mainly be government workers or officers of the two genders, and will also be drawn from various ministries including Labor, Foreign Affairs and legal researchers. Moreover, participants will also be drawn from the migrant workers recruitment agencies and several human rights unions and organizations. The samples and responses taken will mostly be from the government officers employed in dissimilar and pertinent divisions dealing directly with the migrant laborers, their varied rights and complaints. The sample’s decision will be founded on the presumption that even as drawing 10 percent of the known populace is apt, a bigger sample will enable the researcher to draw an increasingly representative and precise conclusion (Fernandez, 2010).
Data Collection Instruments
The instrument will mainly be used in collecting data in relationship to the study’s objectives. The data for the research will be gathered through the use of an interview guide for the collection of in-depth data, along with a questionnaire. The questionnaire that will be used for this research will be designed in both English and Arabic, and will comprise both closed and open-ended questions that will be self-administered by the participants capable of both writing and reading. However, for the participants who are not able to read and write in any of the two languages, assistance will be offered in filling in the responses. The questionnaire to be developed will contain items that evaluate the data and information needed with regards to the study’s objectives. This was also be used in discussing the study findings in the later chapters. The questionnaire will thus be developed with the intention of making it appropriate for the subjects’ use, and simultaneously make it probable to acquire the necessary information. On the whole, the interview will additionally cater for and permit the collection of consistent information from the study sample and this will assist in the saving of time.
Validity and Reliability
Reliability mainly implies the trustworthiness and dependability of the study and its outcomes. It, therefore, refers mainly to the extent a research instrument continuously assesses whatever it is aimed at measuring (Hertog, 2012). So as to ensure that this is realized, the researcher will develop an instrument with a total of 36 comprehensible and uncomplicated wording, in addition to avoiding the haziness for straightforward comprehension and comparable questions interpretation by every respondent. The research will also employ a standardized data gathering instrument in addition to adhering to the acknowledged sampling methods in order to offer participant of both gender an equal opportunity. This will get rid of any kind of biasness. The guides for the interview along with the questionnaire will be analyzed by the supervisor of the researcher. To ensure that the questions in the questionnaire will be capable of provoking responses or if omissions will be made in the course of developing the questionnaire, question screening will be conducted. Also, this is meant to check for any form of bias that might arise on the parts of the respondent and the researcher. This will be followed by the carrying out of two pilot studies that are meant to assist in verifying if the questions developed evaluated what they are intended to measure, and every response is evaluated to observe if it supplied the relevant information. It is also meant to monitor whether the wording is comprehensible and with no or minimal confusion with regards to the manner the participants interpreted the questions. This is to make certain that the interpretation is similar amongst all participants. A number of instances of text misconceptions might be noted; however, this will be corrected through reframing. A comparable pilot study will also be carried out with the objective of checking on the novel adjustments on the research instrument.
The researcher will initially obtain the necessary introductory letter from the convener or the course in-charge’s office, and present the letter to the pertinent authorities in order to gain the authority to gather the necessary data. The researcher will additional obtain a letter from the research country’s ministry of foreign affairs to assist in accessing the necessary government ministries and officers to gather information.
To make certain that the collection of data is conducted ethically, the researcher will adopt the informed consent principle and the principle of charitable participation from every participant, assuring them of confidentiality and anonymity, as well as that their names will not appear anywhere except when they allow. The objective of the current study will be clarified along with the overall time it will take to successfully complete the interview. The advantages of partaking and the manner the outcomes of the research will be utilized will also be highlighted; nonetheless, the participant who indicates a desire to stop partaking will also be allowed to do so. An additional form with the names of the researcher, the affiliated university and date will be drawn and will have a provision for the respondent to append his/her signature.
The data processing strategy is described as follows. Firstly, editing will be carried out and this will entail the checking of the various questionnaires and interview guides with the objective of finding out if every question in the pages has been responded to by the participants in addition to blank one being removed. This will be followed by the coding classification of the themes. Lastly, the interview guides will then be organized and classified as per the emergent theme of the participants.
The analysis of data will be of descriptive nature. The study findings summaries will, therefore, be made with respect to the research questions and the study objectives. The responses will then be classified as the emergent theme for the study objectives. The frequencies of the respondents’ will be computed and after that converted into percentages, and later presented in tabular form.
Data Collection and the Moral Challenges
The current study makes attempts at tackling a sensitive matter concerning the human and labor rights of migrant workers in the GCC and particularly in the UAE in which the available labor policies and regulations are not labor supportive (Khan & Harroff-Tavel, 2011). Thus it is increasingly difficult for the researcher to gain access to the authorities concerned given that most of them are likely to be away as the study will be carried out during summer holidays. Amongst the key challenges that the researcher might face regard the creation of time as well as getting appointments with a number of the authorities concerned. This will also play a considerable role with regards to the data collection process given that a number of officials might be too skeptical of the interview and as a result buy more time, or be too busy to partake. This might be mostly as a consequence of the temperament of the labor laws of the country (UAE), as well as the disinclination of the officials of the ministries concerned to enter into any form of conflict of interest with UAE’s higher powers. Several participants might also not be ready to make appointments for the face-to-face interviews as they fear victimization, and as such, favor e-mail based interviews. Such fears are amongst the main reasons that are bound to restrict the researcher from acquiring in-depth information from such participants.
The UAE labor ministry might also limit the researcher’s interviews to a limited amount of departments, and this might be as a result of the study’s sensitivity along with the fear of open mindedness. For that reason, this is likely to limit the responses that will have been acquired from a number of such departments. Thus, the interviews are likely to be restricted to departments that include the public relations, human resources, labor inspection.
Delays experienced in acquiring the necessary responses will be an additional challenge that might be experienced by the researcher. A number of the participants might delay in offering feedback as they may claim that they were very busy. This can further play a considerable role with regards to the framing of the data collection duration.
Another notable challenge regards the rejection of voice recording for review purposes. So as to assess and be able to easily access the data that is being collected in the course of the interviews later, it is essential that the voices of the participants are recorded. Nevertheless, a number of them might indicate that their voices should not be recorded as a result of the fear of entering into a conflict of interest with their superiors as a result of issue arising from the interview.
The UAE’s labor laws are increasingly unsupportive of labor and human rights of the ‘migrant labors despite the insistence by the government that the laws are supportive. In spite of a number of the study participants being of a similar opinion, their fear of victimization might lead them to with hold their individual opinions on the matters of labor and human rights and, therefore, they prefer keeping it a highly guarded secret. This, in turn, is likely to restrict the actual circumstance on the ground, as well as the influence of the government with respect to addressing the migrants’ labor and human rights issues.
The study will concentrate mainly on the functions that the ministries such as labor and foreign affairs play within the various sectors and will emphasize a number of their contributions. Even so, researches that are founded on smaller samples as exemplified by the current study and detailed interviews normally have challenges that restrict their aptitudes to meet the various demands of responsible advocacy and academic credibility (Jureidini, 2004). Except if chosen carefully, the non-representative researches, and those with smaller samples in particular, rarely yield adequate cases or even the right type of cases to enable the testing of the hypotheses that compete, as well as the causal relations (Jureidini, 2004). Neither are they known to enable the researchers to carry out comparative researches across divergent groups found in one location or even across time and space (geographical and longitudinal comparison).