Migrant workers in Qatar still at risk despite reforms, warns Amnesty


Exploitative kafala system has actually been eliminated however fears stay that required labour on Gulf states 2022 World Cup facilities will continue

Workers developing 2022 World Cup arenas in Qatar will stay at danger of required labour since of meagre reforms that hardly scratch the surface area of the Gulf states exploitation of migrant labour, Amnesty International UK has actually alerted.

A law modification that enters into impact on Tuesday, which Qatar states warranties higher versatility, liberty and security for employees, will not substantially alter the exploitative relationship in between employees and companies, stated the rights group.

The Gulf state is investing an approximated $200bn on brand-new transportation facilities, real estate and sports centers, consisting of 6 arenas developed by designers consisting of Lord Foster and the late Zaha Hadid . Building and construction for the 2022 World Cup will peak in the coming 2 years, and Spanish champs FC Barcelona are because of play an exhibit match in Doha on Tuesday.

But Qatars kafala system, which is utilized to hire most of its labor force from nations consisting of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, has triggered global protest since it avoids employees from altering tasks or leaving the nation without a license. It is declared to have actually led to modern-day slavery for some employees.

Qatar stated on Monday it was eliminating kafala which it was immensely grateful to the countless employees who have actually pertained to Qatar to develop our countries facilities throughout this duration of fast modification.

But James Lynch, deputy director for international concerns at Amnesty, stated the brand-new law might eliminate the word sponsorship however it leaves the very same standard system undamaged.

It readies that Qatar has actually accepted that its laws were sustaining abuse however these insufficient modifications will continue to leave employees at the grace of exploitative employers, he stated.

Amnesty has actually cautioned Fifa that it can not continue to stay shamefully ambivalent to the predicament of employees in Qatar and stated FC Barcelona need to explain to their hosts their desire to play in a human rights-friendly environment. Clubs and gamers can not reside in a bubble.

Lynch, a previous British diplomat in Doha, stated that in practice companies would still have the ability to stop migrant employees from leaving the nation which, by making it much easier for companies to take employees passports , the brand-new law might make the circumstance even worse.

The catastrophe is that lots of employees believe that this brand-new law will be completion of their experience, he stated.

In a declaration, the federal government of Qatar stated it basically turns down Amnesty Internationals declares.

Issa bin Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi, a minister of labour, stated Qatar was changing the kafala system with a modernised contract-based system that safeguards employee rights and increases task versatility.

The ministry of administrative advancement, labour and social affairs stated migrant employees would be complimentary to leave the nation if their company permitted them and might attract a committee if their demand was declined. Employees who have actually finished fixed-term agreements would be complimentary to move tasks, while those on rolling agreements would be totally free to move if they have actually finished 5 years of service. Companies who take passports will be fined as much as QAR25,000 (5,400). Amnesty states the brand-new law likewise makes holding passports legal if an employee demands it in composing and argues that this might be mistreated due to the fact that companies in Qatar take pleasure in an out of proportion level of impact and control over their staff members.

For a migrant employee, the possibility of being connected to one company for approximately 5 years, not able to alter company to protect much better conditions or get away bad treatment or abuse, is not considerably various from their existing position and will not substantially decrease the danger of browbeating of employees by their companies, stated Lynch.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is because of make a judgment in March on whether the required labour of migrant employees in Qatars building market warrants even more examination.

Amnesty is now contacting the Qatari authorities to eliminate the exit license system, forbid all passport confiscation and make sure that employees can alter tasks without needing the consent of their company.

Al-Nuaimi stated: We prompt the global neighborhood not to draw any conclusive conclusions up until there has actually been time to see the brand-new law in action.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/dec/13/migrant-workers-in-qatar-still-at-risk-despite-reforms-warns-amnesty