For a top-rate salary of US$1,000 a month, Kenyan and other African athletes are being shopped around the world's wealthiest track and field nations in a market that one leading administrator said yesterday was “like trading slaves”.
“It is exploitation,” Isaiah Kiplagat, the president of the Kenyan athletics federation, said. “It is happening with children as young as 15. Young people who aren't qualified to represent themselves are being deceived into changing nationality for a few shillings.”
Doha/Prague - Qatari Prince Hamid bin Abdal Sani, whom a Czech court found guilty of sex with underage girls in 2005 and who was afterwards extradited to Qatar, will not face trial in his homeland, as the Qatari prosecutor general has halted his prosecution, Czech station Radio Cesko reported today.
After his Czech sentence in mid-2005, Sani appealed the verdict, which therefore did not take effect. On the decision of the then Czech justice minister, Pavel Nemec, he was extradited to Qatar for further prosecution.
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.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a controversial Muslim cleric who defends suicide attacks, has been refused a visa to enter to the UK after a campaign by David Cameron.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said that it deplored the decision and accused the government of caving in to “unreasonable demands spearheaded by the Tory leader”.
Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary-general of the MCB, said that Dr al-Qaradawi enjoyed respect as a scholar throughout the Muslim world.
A STUDY has proven that there is violence against women within the family in Qatar. The survey, conducted by Kaltham al-Ghanem of the Social Department at Qatar University, sampled 2,778 QU female students, comprising 84% of Qataris and 16% of other nationalities, aged between 17 and 25 years.
The survey is the first scientific study on violence in Qatar, the result of which will be used to advocate and explore the necessity of enacting legislation on violence against women in the country, sources said.
Among the Nepali overseas workers who went to gulf countries to build their future, more than five hundred died in the year 2007 alone, news report said.
Most of the deaths occurred in traffic accidents, due to work place hazards, heart attacks or by committing suicide, rather than natural causes, the report said. The deaths mostly occurred in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Indian housemaids and other domestic helps are working in "often distressing" conditions in West Asia, Commissioner for NRI Affairs (Goa) Eduardo Faleiro said after a visit to Kuwait and Qatar.
"We received complaints of physical torture and abuse, non-payment of salary for several months and filing of false cases against them," Faleiro, a former Indian minister of state for external affairs, said after last week's visit.
At what was a surprise interface with the chairman of the Qatari Businessmen's Association (QBA), young citizens attending the conclusive ceremony of the Career Fair yesterday were severely critical of private companies for not providing them jobs.
There are big private businesses in the country literally with no Qatari employees at all. "This is not fair to us," said several participants during a question and answer session with Sheikh Faisal bin Qassem Al Thani, head of the QBA.
Two hundred Asian laborers working for a Qatar mega project have been left without water, food and electricity for more than a week, a group of expatriate volunteers said here yesterday.
Some workers are in poor health, the volunteers added.
Since last Wednesday the workers, comprising 195 Nepalese and 5 Bangladeshis, are relying on the generosity of expatriate residents to survive.
None of the local authorities, labor department officials, diplomats at the Nepali embassy or human rights officials has intervened or looked into the issue, the volunteers claimed.
The corpse of a Vietnamese worker in Qatar arrived in Vietnam yesterday, two months after he died, said a representative of the Labor Export-Trading and Tourist Co., (Sovilaco).
The worker, a native of Ninh Binh Province, died at a house for Vietnamese guest workers August 24, 2007, three months after Sovilaco sent him to Qatar to work as a bricklayer, said a Sovilaco representative.
Migrant workers flock to the Gulf lured by a better life. But, in a three-month investigation, Al-Jazeera found that many laborers are missing out on the wealth generated by the region's construction boom.
The Gulf countries are enjoying an economic boom. Construction projects, buoyed by oil-rich investors, were worth $200bn in 2006 alone.
The pace of development has meant that luxury lifestyles are becoming the norm rather than an aspiration for local populations and resident Western expatriate communities.
Close on the heels of the Indian embassy suspending attestation of visas for housemaids, two maids yesterday sought the mission’s intervention for their repatriation.
The two, who came separately in a gap of one hour, said they had left their respective employers’ homes after they were brutally assaulted by members of the houses. One even bore swollen marks on her forearm and leg, which, she alleged, had occurred after sponsor’s family members hit her with hot iron.
The Public Works Authority has urged the public to desist from harassing workers involved in its various project works.
Ashghal said yesterday that their workers were often being subjected to verbal abuse by the public, both expatriates and nationals, in the name of road closures and diversions.
"People must understand the temporary inconveniences that they are facing is the pangs prior to the birth of a new-look Doha," Ashghal said in a release.
A British Airways flight was delayed for several hours after women members of the Qatari royal family objected to sitting next to men they did not know. The three wives of Sheikh Badr Bin Khalifa al-Thani refused take up their seats on board Flight 563 from Milan's Linate airport to London Heathrow.
Police and Qatari diplomats became involved before the captain told Sheikh Badr's entourage to leave the aircraft. The Qatari royals eventually ended up getting an Alitalia flight to London. They had been on a shopping day-trip to the Italian city.
India will ban women under 30 from emigrating to work as domestic help in the Gulf and parts of Africa and Southeast Asia in a bid to curb sex trafficking, a report said Tuesday.
The move came after Renuka Chowdhury, the minister for women and children, said that overseas domestic workers had complained of being pushed into prostitution after their employers had seized their passports.
Low salaries and lack of privileges apart, taking up a job in the private sector can lower the social standing of a Qatari.
Qataris value social prestige more than anything else, so fighting this kind of perception attached to private jobs is one of the most formidable challenges the planners in the country face in their drive to push nationals into private employment.
As soon as Murad Bux arrived, his 13-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter were introduced to him. He hugged them and wept. He was a servant of an Arab Shaikh in Qatar and his master had allowed him to visit his family after 12 years for a duration of two months. When he was asked how his life had gone in Qatar. His reply was: “For me, each day has been as long as a year. As if the time was hanged and the globe had stopped revolving around the sun”.
An Indian housemaid in Qatar has sought protection from the Indian embassy, alleging harassment at the hands of her sponsor. It's the fifth case where an Indian maid has lodged a complaint against her sponsor with the embassy in less than a week.
Indian Ambassador to Qatar George Joseph said the woman was already sent to the deportation center and her husband would join her on Thursday. The Indian embassy has also formally informed the foreign ministry about the incident, Joseph said.
The Gulf states -- Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman – may no longer accept Filipino workers unless the Philippine government take steps to clarify its policy imposing $13 daily penalty on foreign employers who would not pay their workers on time and at a minimum of $400 a month.
The Committee for Importing Foreign Workers of the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) unanimously agreed in a meeting on Thursday to stop importing Filipinos until Philippine labor laws are clarified, Dylan Bowman of Kuwait New Agency reported.
While Qatar has promised to give athletes and spectators "the games of your life" it seems many of the construction workers who built the facilities won't share the same happy memories from their Games experience.
Efforts have been made in Qatar to improve the standard of living for the legions of migrant workers, but it seems that plenty more needs to be done. Workers who refurbished Khalifa Stadium, venue for Friday's extravagant opening ceremony, say contractors continue to rob them of a slice of their paltry wages.