Amnesty describes Qatar's abuse of migrant workers as“crisis”

Amnesty describes Qatar's abuse of migrant workers as“crisis”

By whykaykay

Update from Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

With the 2022 FIFA World Cup fast approaching, Qatar has been under the fire for its abuse of migrant workers.

After the release of publications from sources by the United Nations, international trade union BWI , and the Guardian; all of which document different accounts of abuse amongst workers; Amnesty International adds on to these reports.

During the course of five and a half weeks and over the course of two weeks,  Amnesty researchers visited 20 labor camps in Qatar.

During their investigation, they found breaches of Qatari standards in each.

Some of the breaches include 15 men sharing one bedroom, missing or non-functioning air conditioning, overflowing of sewage, and lack of power and running water. 

The sponsorship system in Qatar, which has been previously labeled as "modern day slavery", is one of the reasons the enables such abuses.

According to Amnesty, the kafala (sponsorship) system creates an "excessively unequal power relationship." Some of the top concerns that were documented included withheld passports, unpaid wages, and poor worksite safety. 

The report also included the health states of some of the workers, many of whom suffered from psychological and emotional distress, some even going as far as contemplating suicide.

Much like several human rights organizations, Amnesty calls for the abolishment of the sponsorship (kafala) system which keeps expats tied down to their sponsor and requires their sponsor's persmission to leave the country or change jobs.

Just like every other story, there's another side to this issue. Representative's of Qatar's business community have argued in favor of the sponsorship (kafala) system, claiming that such rules are required to prevent employees from suddently bailing out on their employers. 

Amnesty has encouraged Qatar to use the 2022 FIFA World Cup as a pedestal to reform its current human rights. 

The human rights organization expects to release another report, focused on domestic workers in Qatar, sometime next year.

Source: Amnesty International | Doha News

By blisteringbarnacles2007• 8 years 6 months ago.
blisteringbarnacles2007

now that you guys have set the rules... when can we expect to get it implemented?...lol

By landloverreview• 8 years 6 months ago.
landloverreview

his*

By landloverreview• 8 years 6 months ago.
landloverreview

After much of hard work when someone sits to eat food he purchased or cooked by his own money, Is it not rude and cheap to take food from his plate?..NOC system does the same.. after much of hard work , someone gets a good job, but he employer don't allow him..

By Equin0x• 8 years 7 months ago.
Equin0x

The sponsorship system has already been revamped in Kuwait and UAE with no negative implications. All systems need changes in the light of changing environment and surroundings, and Qatar Govt. believes in and holds good amount of collective wisdom needed to sort out this issue amicably.

By t_coffee_or_me• 8 years 7 months ago.
t_coffee_or_me

There will be a revolt if the system changes PERIOD.

By britexpat• 8 years 7 months ago.
britexpat

NO. But I believe the root cause is not the Kafalla system, but the lack of laws to protect the workers and the non enforcement by authorities.

By sTrangR• 8 years 7 months ago.
sTrangR

@britexpat are you Employer in Qatar ?

By Equin0x• 8 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
Equin0x

The construction company can be formed by a meager capital base of Qar. 200,000/- and they are allowed to hire hundreds of workers, with no own funding capacity. There is a need to increase this base capital law to a substantial level for the contracting companies. They should also be asked to make reserves from their monthly cash inflows for workers compensations. All businesses in Qatar are facing long standing issue of delayed payments on their credits, that needs to be regulated by a Credit Control Authority, who could adopt several measures to fix up this problem in a timely manner.

By shasan_2003• 8 years 7 months ago.
shasan_2003

DUE to NOC and Kafala System I am unable to return back to Qatar till 2-years period will not finsihed, I love Qatar.

By britexpat• 8 years 7 months ago.
britexpat

HGL: TOUCHE! Exactly the point I have been trying to make .. Thank you.. thank you.. Thank you!

By happygolucky• 8 years 7 months ago.
happygolucky

A single point supply of manpower company will have sufficient muscle to make the non paying companies pay their dues and if they dont then they can take other suitable actions which an individual for reasons obvious cannot. But the point is how different would the treatment be of the defaulters than it is at present...the players on the two sides would remain almost the same.

By Equin0x• 8 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Equin0x

brit: The listed recruitment company can create reserves from their revenues in order to address non payments, and then get reimbursement from the employers with the delay charge. The listed company can have access to huge public funds and could also borrow from the banks. Imagine, when they lease out 500,000 workers against a fee of 100 per worker per month (fee can be adjusted according to salary slabs), the revenues would amount to 600 million per year. Inter-transfer of sponsorship would be eliminated altogether. Side by side, there is a need of another company who could regulate the contract payments (or credit) that would ensure enough liquidity in the local market which could also generate more business on cash basis.

By britexpat• 8 years 7 months ago.
britexpat

Good Old Joe: Sadly, these things will not stop until people start refusing to come and work here or the government takes an aggressive stance on ensuring that labour rights are written, understood and adhered to. We both know that neither is likely to occur.

By Good old joe• 8 years 7 months ago.
Good old joe

....Some of the breaches include 15 men sharing one bedroom, missing or non-functioning air conditioning, overflowing of sewage, and in making this guys feel unwelcome around the shopping centres, cornice, etc

By tvabdul• 8 years 7 months ago.
tvabdul

STOP KAFALA,,STOP HUROOOOOJ,,,STOP BANNNNNN.......HARAM.....GIVE SALARY....GIVE ACCOMODATION.....GIVE FOOOOOD ....HARAM ALLL HARAM...ALL HARAM....YAAA SHEIKH ALLL HARAM ,..HARAM...HARAM

By Good old joe• 8 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
Good old joe

The local authorities should understand and be aware that others in positions of power within other organizations around here abuse the system and get rid of workers, qualified and trained people with silly and stupid excuses or just because they are a threat to their positions. They play around and twist the system to terminate and blacklist workers for no ryme or reason and use this system to threaten anybody and everybody below them.

By britexpat• 8 years 7 months ago.
britexpat

Equinox: so, when the construction company does not pay the "listed recruitment company", then the workers will still get paid ?

By Equin0x• 8 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Equin0x

1. A large listed recruit company can be formed with the mandate to provide direct sponsorships to expatriates, as per requirements of the Qatar employers. The company can then lease out the workers to the respective companies on a contract that guarantees all rights to the workers. 2. An Arbitration unit within that company can sort out the emerging issues between the workers and employers. No direct employment of workers to be allowed in the construction companies.

By britexpat• 8 years 7 months ago.
britexpat

Just saw an article on the plight of Nepalese workers in Qatar. Are the Qatari authorities burying their heads in the sand or are the "complainers" exaggerating.

By usmi• 8 years 7 months ago.
usmi

U can't argue with the employer over your rights, even employer's baised policies cant be challenged. Employers are so authoritative here.

By britexpat• 8 years 7 months ago.
britexpat

As I've said before. The problem is not mainly with the Kafallah system, but the introduction and enforcement of workers' rights.

By javaman• 8 years 7 months ago.
javaman

Yes its right it is totally a modern slavery.

lets just hope that FIFA committee were able to negotiate and totally abolish the system in no time.

By hasibkhan246• 8 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
hasibkhan246

kafala system really problem for expats but good for companies.. some companies the small ones.. whose owners are mostly expats asians abuse their employers.. big companies also dont allow their workers to change jobs even working in the same company for 4 years or more.. thats is big issue.. and wont allow you to travel when ever you want .. even if u want to travel for few days u have to beg with your sponsor or employers and always under threat.. cant leave the country ...

By happygolucky• 8 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
happygolucky

"Amnesty calls for the abolishment of the sponsorship (kafala) system which keeps expats tied down to their sponsor and requires their sponsor's persmission to leave the country or change jobs". True that. Why otherwise do the Contract terms and conditions and remuneration gets changed after the person lands here.

By just1s• 8 years 7 months ago.
just1s

I agree to abolish Kafala system, This system is really selfish its all about Employers protection its totally one sided. there should be a way to protect each own interests.

of course there should be a certain grounds, like for example if the two signed is for two years then upon completion its the employee discretion to renew or continue his contract to a certain employer/company.

I'm really looking forward that this issue was able the pushed the committee of FIFA to totally abolish the Kafala system .

By jonboy• 8 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
jonboy

If only Qatar would realise that by abolishing the Kafala system, in the long term would benefit the country massively. Sure if it was to be abolished, people would move companies if they were unhappy. But they would still be in Qatar and one the mass rush to move has dies down, people would settle and productivity would increase ten fold. Of course, like the article infers companies would have to change the way they work, but, as always in life, " what goes around, comes around" treat people right and your get the right treatment in return.

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