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Workers Still Owed Wages for Months After Informing Government of Abuse

(Beirut) – Qatari authorities have failed to provide redress for hundreds of migrant workers who are suffering from months of unpaid wages at two companies, even though authorities have repeatedly been informed of these abuses, Human Rights Watch said…
Former and current employees of Imperial Trading and Construction Company (ITCC) protest months of delayed and unpaid wages outside the company's headquarters. 
News

Enforcement Needed, Other Provisions in Effect Still Carry Risk of Abuse

(Beirut) – The success of the significant labor reform measures that Qatar introduced on September 8, 2020, will depend on how well the government enforces and monitors them, Human Rights Watch said today. The reforms will allow migrant workers to…
Workers in Katara cultural heritage village in Doha, Qatar.
Report
Summary   When “Henry,” a Kenyan man, received the complete list of required documents that allowed him to work in Qatar, he thought all his prayers had been answered.[1] To secure a plumbing job in Qatar, he had to take a loan at a 30…
News

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. 
News

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 Rights Watch said today.…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
News

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

Medical Research Concludes Heatstroke Likely Cause

  UPDATE:   In response to this press release, Qatar’s Government Communications Office stated on October 10 that labor inspectors shut down 300 work sites for violating the existing regulations…
A foreign worker climbs scaffolding at the Al-Wakra Stadium that is under construction for the 2022 World Cup, in Doha, Qatar.
News

Migrant Workers Toil with Far Less Protections Everyday

Nearly half the athletes participating in the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha on Sunday pulled out of the race in what The Telegraph described as “shocking scenes of multiple athletes collapsing in distress.”…
Italy's Giovanna Epis is pushed in a wheelchair during the women's marathon at the World Athletics Championships, in Doha, Qatar.
News

Defy Ban Under Labor Law

  (Beirut) – Hundreds of migrant workers in Qatar went on strike this week to protest what they say are poor working conditions, unpaid and delayed wages, and threats of reduced wages, Human Rights…
Workers leave their construction sites
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
News
(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
“If you want to go back [home], you have to pay back the money we spent to bring you here.” “Atiya Z.” (not her real name) and I were sitting under a veranda, shaded from the hot sun in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania, when…
Employment visa from Oman in the passport of a former Tanzanian domestic worker. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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

Measures Could Be Pathbreaking for Region but Fall Short of Full Kafala Repeal

(New York) – The Qatari government’s newly announced labor reforms are a step in the right direction, but their implementation will be the decisive factor, Human Rights Watch said today. This week, under pressure from the International Trade…
Migrant laborers work at a construction site at Aspire Zone in Doha, March 26, 2016.
News

FIFA, National Associations Should Press Qatar on Heat Risks, Preventable Deaths

(Beirut) – Qatari authorities should adopt and enforce adequate restrictions on outdoor work to protect the lives of migrant construction workers who are at risk from working in the country’s intense heat and humidity, Human Rights Watch said…
Migrant laborers work at a construction site at Aspire Zone in Doha, March 26, 2016.
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.
News

By reforming its nationality law, ratifying the Refugee Convention and joining the ICC, Qatar can become a model state in the region - and protect itself from attack

The age-old adage that finds opportunity in every crisis is truer than ever in Qatar today. No doubt the Qatar government is under intense pressure from its once-brotherly neighbours, led by Saudi Arabia. Yet it can take some…
A road sign is seen near Abu Samra border crossing to Saudi Arabia, Qatar June 12, 2017.