Debt and distress. The reality of migrant workers in Qatar

The spectacular photos which have come to us from Qatar of the eight grand stadiums being constructed to host the 2022 World Cup beginning in mid-November cover a grim and harsh reality of the working situations of the migrant workers that made this building program potential. examples

The nation employed hundreds of migrant workers to construct eight stadiums, a brand new airport, new roads, public transport methods and resorts. The Qatari authorities has stated it has employed 30,000 workers to construct the stadium.

In 2021, an investigation of dad and mom More than 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar, it has concluded, because the nation prepares to host the soccer World Cup. Forced to work for 12 consecutive hours with out relaxation, many of these workers died of coronary heart assaults and respiratory failure as a result of excessive temperatures. The newspaper estimates that about 12 migrant workers have died each week over the previous 12 years.

Over the previous few months, extra and extra information tales have been revealed revealing the depressing residing situations of migrant workers and the alarming degree of their exploitation.

In addition to the precarious situations in which they stay, these workers – largely from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – are pressured to pay low wages and unlawful charges. In addition, workers are pressured to work below the menace of withholding wages, being handed over to the police or being prevented from leaving Qatar.

According to the report of dad and momWorkers stay in windowless and unsanitary situations in “degradation shacks”.
Recruitment charge should be paid
All the workers interviewed by the British newspaper additionally say they have been pressured to pay unlawful charges to brokers in their very own nations to safe their jobs.

Migrants from Bangladesh and Nepal make up a 3rd of Qatar’s workforce and pay a mean charge of US$1,500 to US$1,500 or US$3,000 to US$4,000, relying on the job. Workers find yourself in debt, as a result of they earn greater than $275 a month.So many need to work for greater than a 12 months or take out loans to pay this recruitment charge.

“I paid 300 thousand rupees [moeda do Bangladesh] in charges,” stated a employee dad and mom, an quantity equal to about 3000 euros. “Some pay a bit extra, others rather less, however everybody pays,” he stated.

“The pay may be very low, it’s totally tough”, one other employee admitted to the newspaper, who says he can solely ship 180 euros a month to his spouse and youngsters residing in India.

The organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup carried out a method in 2018 to require corporations which have contracts with corporations that construct stadiums to pay recruitment charges for his or her workers. The identical corporations say they’ve reimbursed 49,000 staff greater than $28 million. However, all workers have been interviewed dad and mom They haven’t obtained any refund.
Kafla system
Many workers utilized for this job as a result of they might not discover work or revenue in their residence nations and noticed it as a lifeline.

However, in addition to the deplorable situations and debt they’re topic to, these males are nonetheless held hostage by their employers, stopping them from altering jobs or leaving the nation.

This is as a result of so-called kafala system used in Qatar to regulate migrant workers. The system requires all workers to have a sponsor in the nation, often their employer, who’s answerable for their visa and authorized standing.

Facing criticism from a number of human rights organizations, Qatar introduced a brand new legislation in 2020 that promised to eradicate the kafala system. However, the workers say that they’re being pressured by the corporate to not change jobs.

“The firm doesn’t permit us to go away. We can solely change if we go residence, cancel the visa and apply for a brand new one”, says a employee.

“If we will change jobs, everybody will depart,” stated one other employee.
Many workers have been deported
Many workers have been lately deported to protest non-payment of wages.

Six dozen workers protested in August exterior the native workplaces of Al Bandari International Group in Doha, a conglomerate that mixes building, actual property, resorts, meals companies and different companies.

Among the protesters have been individuals who haven’t obtained their salaries for at the very least seven months.

Several protesters have been finally arrested and others deported for “violating safety legal guidelines”, the Qatari authorities claimed.

Countering these stories, FIFA has argued {that a} quantity of measures have been carried out in current years to enhance the safety of workers’ rights in Qatar.

For its half, the Qatari authorities has argued that it has lately launched a sequence of reforms to enhance working situations for migrants and rejected a 2021 Amnesty report that pointed to the exploitation of hundreds of migrant workers in the nation.

According to Amnesty International, greater than 17,000 soccer followers from 15 nations have argued that FIFA ought to compensate migrant workers in Qatar for human rights abuses.

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