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As World Cup Draws Closer, Government Yet to Meet Key Reform Promises

(Beirut) – Qatari authorities’ efforts to protect migrant workers’ right to accurate and timely wages have largely proven unsuccessful, Human Rights Watch said in a report and an accompanying video released today. Despite a handful of reforms in…
Migrant workers in Qatar represent about 95 per cent of the country’s labor force. These workers are building the country’s infrastructure, hotels, and stadiums, and powering its service sector. 
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Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

    (Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
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But Domestic Workers Will Have to Notify Employers Before Leaving

  (Beirut)—Qatar announced on January 16, 2020 that most migrant workers previously prevented from leaving the country without their employer’s permission, including domestic workers, will no longer need an exit permit, Human Rights Watch…
A picture taken on December 4, 2018, shows workers at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor, a city in northeastern Qatar. © 2018 David Harding/AFP
News

Important Measures, but Fall Short of Promises, Obligations

(Beirut) – Qatar made some important progress on human rights in 2018 but failed to deliver on several key promised reforms, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. Among the promises not yet kept is the full repeal of the…
A picture taken on December 4, 2018, shows workers at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor, a city in northeastern Qatar. © 2018 David Harding/AFP
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(Beirut) – Qatar should enact further reforms on working hours, a safe working environment, inspections, and recruitment fees to protect migrant domestic workers, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Law No. 15 on service workers…
Illustration of a domestic worker exploited in Oman.
News

But Rejects Major Protections for Women, Migrant Workers

    (Beirut) – Qatar submitted documents to the United Nations on May 21, 2018, to join two core human rights treaties, following cabinet approval on March 14, Human Rights Watch said today. But Qatar’s accession to the International…
© 2018 United Nations
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Needs Enforcement Mechanisms

(Beirut) – Qatar’s adoption of a new law on domestic workers provides labor rights for domestic workers for the first time, Human Rights Watch said today. Qatari authorities should enact strong enforcement policies and close loopholes that place domestic…
A female employer and her children are accompanied by their domestic worker, back right, as they walk through The Avenues, an indoor luxury shopping center in Kuwait City.
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Scores of Unaccompanied Children, Adults Stranded as Relocation Ended

(Calais) – Local authorities acted prematurely on October 26, 2016, in ending registration and relocation of children and adults from the Calais migrant camp, Human Rights Watch said today. The Pas-de-Calais prefect, Fabienne Buccio, declared, “…
A group of boys from the Calais migrant camp tries to stay warm where they are sleeping overnight in the hope that registration of unaccompanied children and adults would resume in the morning, October 26, 2016.
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Secure Housing, Care, Guardianship, Family Reunification

France and the United Kingdom should ensure that all unaccompanied children in informal migrant camps in Calais receive adequate accommodation and care before the camps are demolished, Human Rights Watch said today. French authorities…
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Restore Right of Domestic Workers to Change Employers

(London) – The House of Lords should amend the Modern Slavery Bill to restore the right for migrant domestic workers to change employers, Human Rights Watch and the United Kingdom charity Kalayaan said today. The bill is being considered in the House of…
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Allow Employees to Change Employer to Escape Abuse

(London) – The United Kingdom House of Lords should amend a draft law on “modern slavery” to include protections from abuse for migrant domestic workers, Human Rights Watch said today. The upper chamber of the UK parliament is scheduled to begin its…
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Don’t Dismiss Reports of Forced Labor, Exploitation

(London) – The UK government should address, not dismiss, evidence that employers have abused migrant domestic workers in the UK, Human Rights Watch and the UK charity Kalayaan said today. A draft law before parliament is aimed at combating forced labor…
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UK Government Should Abolish ‘Tied Visa’ to Protect Workers, Prevent Forced Labor

(London) – Migrant domestic workers accompanying their employers to the United Kingdom are being subjected to serious abuses including forced labor, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The UK government is doing far too little to protect…
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Legal Advances in Two Dozen Countries Globally as New Treaty Enters Into Force

(Montevideo) – The Middle East depends heavily on domestic workers but trails other regions in adopting critical reforms to protect their rights, the International Domestic Workers Network (IDWN), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and…
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Abusive System Traps Both Professional and Low-Paid Migrant Workers

(Beirut) – Qatar should immediately abolish its exit visa requirements, which expose migrant workers to the risk of exploitation and abuse. The exit visa system can prevent foreigners from leaving the country merely on the say-so of a current or former…
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Alarming Decline in Europe’s Record

(Brussels) – The European Union and member governments proved unwilling to tackle human rights abuse at home during 2011, even as they proclaimed the issue’s importance in inspiring the Arab Spring, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2012…
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(Abu Dhabi) - When labor ministers from 22 Asian and Middle Eastern countries meet in Abu Dhabi this week to discuss Asian contract migrant workers, they should address widespread violations of migrant workers’ rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Both…
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Migrants’ Groups Call for Key Reforms on International Migrants Day

(New York) - Governments in Asia and the Middle East must take stronger action to fight rampant abuse against migrant workers, several migrants’ and human rights groups said in a joint letter on the eve of December 18, International Migrants’ Day. Tens…
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Lords Review Human Rights Implications of Proposals

New approaches to asylum being considered in the United Kingdom and the European Union threaten the fundamental rights of asylum seekers and migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. In a submission to the U.K. House of Lords Select Committee on European…