There have been renewed calls for Qatarto address and review its treatment of migrant workers after a new Amnesty International report revealedthat “hundreds of migrant workers” have been forced to give up on “justice” and return home “penniless” since March 2018.
Qatar and its labour laws have been under the spotlight ever since the country was named the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.Its government has pledged to resolve labour disputes in the run-up to the tournament.
In the report published on Thursday, Amnesty said it followed the “search for justice of more than 2,000 people working for Hamton International, Hamad bin Khaled bin Hamad (HKH) and United Cleaning after the companies stopped paying their wages for several months, citing financial difficulties”.
The companies then ceased operations and ended the contracts, prompting at least 1,620 of these workers to submit complaints to the Committees for the Settlement of Labour Disputes.
“While some of them were eventually given part of what they were owed by their employers in exchange for dropping their cases, most went home with nothing,” said the report.
The committee received more than 6,000 complaints last year, according to the report which added that most of them had not been resolved at the end of the year.
“Despite the significant promises of reform which Qatar has made ahead of the 2022 World Cup, it remains a playground for unscrupulous employers,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International’s deputy director of global issues.
“Migrant workers often go to Qatar in the hope of giving their families a better life. Instead, many people return home penniless after spending months chasing their wages, with too little help from the systems that are supposed to protect them.”