• In 2013, the human rights climate in Qatar remained problematic, particularly for the large and growing migrant worker population. Migrants continued to experience serious rights violations, including forced labor and arbitrary restrictions on the right to leave Qatar, which exposed them to exploitation and abuse by employers. Qatar’s poor record on freedom of expression declined further with the announcement of a draft cyber-crime law

Reports

Qatar

  • May 14, 2014
    A long-awaited report has criticised Qatar's controversial kafala system as "no longer the appropriate tool for the effective control of migration". This negative assessment of the system, which binds workers to one employer, carries all the more weight because it is the central finding of a report the Gulf state commissioned in response to international outrage over its treatment of migrant workers.
  • May 2, 2014
    King Juan Carlos is visiting Kuwait and Bahrain this week, after Abu Dhabi and Qatar two weeks ago in a series of visits to the gulf region that will also take him to Oman and Saudi Arabia over the next two months. He is traveling with a high-level delegation that includes the ministers of foreign affairs, transport, defense and energy, as well as the heads of some of Spain’s biggest companies.
  • Apr 26, 2014
    Vague provisions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) joint security agreement raise concerns. Member countries could use the agreement to suppress free expression and undermine privacy rights of citizens and residents.
  • Feb 17, 2014
    Prince Charles has an opportunity on this visit to go beyond talking in generalities about inter-faith dialogue and tolerance to the very Gulf rulers whose governments consistently repress dissent and subject women, religious minorities and migrant workers to egregious abuses. We urge him to do so and to confound his minders and advisers by speaking up for rights and justice.
  • Feb 11, 2014
  • Jan 21, 2014
    International criticism over serious abuses of migrant workers was focused on Qatar during 2013, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2014. The authorities have ignored warnings to reform a legal and regulatory system that facilitates forced labor.
  • Dec 18, 2013
    The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) should leverage their countries’ collective bargaining power to seek greater protection for their nationals working in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
  • Dec 17, 2013
    We are writing to you in advance of International Migrants Day, December 18, to draw your attention to the abuse and exploitation of workers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait.
  • Nov 26, 2013
  • Nov 17, 2013
    Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should bring their national laws on domestic workers up to the standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention. All six countries should ratify the international treaty promptly.