Unpaid wages top complaint of Qatar migrant workers: UN
Unpaid wages dominate a growing number of complaints by migrant workers in Qatar, the UN labour agency said Tuesday, less than 20 days before the football World Cup begins.
The International Labour Organization said the number of worker complaints more than doubled in a year to 34,425 with the launch of a new online platform, in a report which called on Qatar to bolster the implementation of reforms launched after criticism of its rights record.
“The main causes of complaints concerned non-payment of wages and end-of service benefits, and annual leave not being granted or paid,” said the report, which added that 10,500 cases went to labour tribunals, where nearly all judges ruled in favour of workers.
The report said the number of workers treated for heat related problems linked to the Gulf state’s searing summer temperatures had also fallen, after the introduction of new restrictions in 2021.
It said four Qatar Red Crescent clinics treated 351 workers this summer, down from 620 in 2021, and 1,320 and 1,520 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Qatar, where the World Cup starts on November 20, has been widely criticised over conditions for migrant workers, as well as rights for women and the LGBTQ community.
But the ILO said Qatar’s “significant” reforms were having an impact on the whole Gulf region.
“There is universal acknowledgement that more needs to be done to fully apply and enforce the labour reforms,” said the report.
“We all recognise that we are not yet at the finish line, and we will build on this solid foundation to address the gaps in implementation, and ensure that all workers and employers can fully benefit from these major reforms,” said Ruba Jaradat, ILO regional director for Arab states.