Qatar Asked to Finally Stop Systematic Exploitation of Expatriate Workers

US EMBASSY officials are urging a liberalisation of the sponsorship law to combat forced labor and human trafficking violations within Qatar. The call comes amid increasing speculation regarding a draft law, currently awaiting approval, governing the entry and exit of foreigners, their residence and sponsorship.

The US embassy's Charge d’Affaires, Michael Ratney, said: “Trafficking is a serious problem as many expatriate workers make arrangements to come and work in Qatar for a certain wage and a certain number of hours, but then often find themselves to be working double the hours for half the pay when they actually get here.

“The current sponsorship and labor laws mean that this practice is all too common, and we have urged the Qatari government to look into this.”

A recent human rights report commissioned by the US State Department, covering countries to which America provides foreign assistance, made uncomfortable reading regarding the lives of some expatriate workers. It stated: “Men and women from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East travel willingly to Qatar as laborers and domestic servants but often subsequently face conditions of forced labor and physical and sexual exploitation.

“Legislation guiding the sponsorship of expatriate laborers created conditions constituting forced labour or slavery.
“The dependence of foreign laborers on their employer for residency rights and the inability to change employment or to travel without the sponsor's permission leaves them vulnerable to abuse and arrest.”

The report pointed the finger at individual employers, contractors and recruitment agencies for the violations, adding “there is no evidence of institutional involvement by government bodies or officials”. At a press conference held to discuss the report yesterday, Ratney admitted that Qatar had made “steady progress” in its human rights record and hoped the country could lead the way for others to follow.

He said: “With its strong leadership (Qatar) has the potential to set an example in the region.” And part of that example would be a “liberalisation of the code that governs workers in Qatar".

Amendments to the current sponsorship law, insisted Ratney, would benefit not only the largely expatriate workforce but also result in increased competition to the benefit of all.

The US Department’s human rights report on Qatar for the year 2007 was based on information received from a variety of sources, including governments and multilateral institutions, national and international non-governmental groups, academics, jurists, religious groups and the media.

Source: Gulf Times

Comments

Re : Human exploitation by Arab Countries

Please tell me why anybody in their right mind would want to go to these Desert countries, be exploited and treated so bad! These agents that recruit people for these barbaric countries, should be charged, as part and package of illegal trading of humans and be on the list of Interpol. People should not be sold into slavery in this day and age by these countries that profess to be offering deceiving positions with bad intentions and exploitation.

I think people should share more of these bad experiences on websites like this, so that when a familly member gets an opportunity to go work in places like Qatar, they will not even consider it.

So keep you camels and your desert sand dunes and stop trying to recruit people who live in civilized countries with human rights and the right to live with dignity and pride.

No Way

There is no way Qatar would agree to remove this restriction, could you imagine what would happen within a few days of this law being abolished. 90% of all contract workers would leave Qatar, which would constitute about a 75% loss of the general work force. I could even go as far as saying a lot of professionals would also leave. How would Qatar be able to manage such a loss of work force? It would cost the country millions to try and replace these lost workers. Not to mention the loss of money by people who would leave Qatar without paying up their loans.

Interesting information about activation

I think this board is the proper place to ask you about the activation proccess. My link is not working properly, do you know why it is happening? http://www.qatarsucks.com/?befaa3bba48854e976c46164ae0,

listen to the Americans

Wow, the American said that. So I think the Emir may need to listen to them. Otherwise, they might remove the US base from Qatar. Oh no, the US will not do that. That base also serve their own interest. Oh well, too bad for the workers then. Remember the world is full of good intention. Thanks Americans for "caring for the workers". Qatari govt will listen to you, inshallah.