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 recent years, withheld and unpaid salaries, as well as other wage abuses, are persistent and widespread across at least 60 employers and companies in Qatar.
The 78-page report, “How Can We Work Without Wages? Salary Abuses Facing Migrant Workers Ahead of Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2020” shows that employers across Qatar frequently violate workers’ right to wages and that Qatar has failed to meet its 2017 commitment to the International Labour Organization (ILO) to protect migrant workers from wage abuses and to abolish the kafala system, which ties migrant workers’ visas to their employers. Human Rights Watch found case after case of wage abuse across various occupations including security guards, servers, baristas, bouncers, cleaners, management staff, and construction workers.
“Ten years since Qatar won the right to host the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup 2022, migrant workers are still facing delayed, unpaid, and deducted wages,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “We have heard of workers starving due to delayed wages, indebted workers toiling in Qatar only to get underpaid wages, and workers trapped in abusive working conditions due to fear of retaliation.”
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