End Forced Labor in Qatar - FreedomUnited.org
Campaign Update:

August 30, 2020: Qatar has taken promising steps towards dismantling the abusive kafala system by abolishing restrictions on migrant workers changing jobs without their employer’s permission and introduced a monthly minimum wage of 1,000 Qatari riyal. Read more here.

End Forced Labor in Qatar

Bide Majakoti knows the horror of forced labor in Qatar first-hand. He travelled from Nepal on the promise of a well-paid job and paid high recruitment fees to secure it. When he arrived he was forced to accept a different job and his nightmare began.

Unfortunately, as construction for the football World Cup 2022 intensifies, more migrant workers will be vulnerable to forced labor than ever before.

Over 90% of Qatar’s workforce are migrant workers, brought to the country under kafala, the ‘sponsorship’ system.1 It is a foreign worker sponsorship programme that jeopardises basic human rights of migrant workers, allowing slavery-like conditions to flourish leaving thousands vulnerable to forced labor and other human rights abuses.

Bide was forced to work in the blistering heat without safety precautions or pay. With no other option open to him, he returned home saddled with debt. While Bide ultimately returned home to tell his story, thousands of others never get that chance.

Many others’ experiences are even worse; workers often have their wages withheld, are denied exit visas, are housed in dirty, unsafe conditions and forced to work long hours with little rest despite the high heat.2

Right now we have an opportunity to help. The Minister of Labor made promises to make substantial reform to the kafala system, ensuring the protection of migrant workers.3 Now, the deadline for these reforms has passed.

We’ve seen significant improvements to the kafala system in Bahrain, Kuwait and other neighboring countries. Now it’s time for Qatar to safeguard its migrant workers.

Call on the Minister of Labor to deliver on critical reforms he promised and end the forced labor in Qatar.


Watch ‘Undercover film of life inside Qatar’s labor camps’ by Equal Times

May 05, 2016 Campaign Launches

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Peter Matthews
Peter Matthews
1 year ago

Another very effective way to show Qatar and other neighbouring countries that abuse emigrant workers is not to visit them or use their airlines.

Steve S
Steve S
1 year ago

I would like to see the fans boycott the world Cup on mass, and leave the owners and contractors who employ these unfortunate tradesmen with an empty stadium and an absolutely crippling debt.

If this is the way that Qatar treats the people who build its country, they are not the world beating people they want us to believe.
They are marching straight back to the stone age, with their eyes firmly closed.

Visit Qatar and take a selfie with the slaves. “How’s that for a holiday slogan”.

John Bedigan
John Bedigan
2 years ago

You stop these barbarians when you stop doing business with them. The rotten corrupt football world should have pulled the plug on the world cup, knowing well what was going on, but completely brainless, money mad soulless footie players, their entourages, minders and bosses don’t give damn. Governments of all hues desperate for arms sales and industrial contracts, a piece of the petro-chemical El Dorado ensures the slavery is ignored. There’s nothing new here.

Bernice Taylor
Bernice Taylor
2 years ago
Reply to  John Bedigan

Well said. My sentiments exactly!

2 years ago
Reply to  John Bedigan

Well said!

Annamarie Jones
2 years ago

Sounds like some places I know in the United States,but I guess that helped Qatar become the wealthiest nation in the world, slave labor — SHAME – – SHAME –As it says in Proverbs better to be poor & honest, then rich & a cheater i.e. cheating people out of a living wage

Victor Croasdale
Victor Croasdale
1 month ago

Whilst the US was built on slave labor and Indian bones, Qatar’s wealth comes from oil and gas. The widespread slave labor came later.

I lived in Qatar and Saudi Arabia for most of the 1980’s. In Saudi, I had women with law and teaching degrees from the Philippines working as hospital cleaners because they made more money in Saudi than at home. I had some really good Filipino technicians working for about $100 a month.

Javara Nova
Javara Nova
11 months ago

FIFA, as an international body must stand up for justice and humanity. If it is unable to do that then they are worth nothing. BOYCOTT THE GAMES IN QATAR!
What will it take for Qatar to develop a heart… compassion for their fellow human beings?

Dan McCaughern
Dan McCaughern
8 months ago
Reply to  Javara Nova

Agree with you Javara. But then wouldn’t the FIFA officials have to hand their bribes back?

Qatar: End forced labor

Help us reach 100,000 actions

Dr. Issa bin Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi, Minister for administrative development, labor and social affairs,

Your Excellency,

While I applaud you for your public commitment to reform the kafala system in Qatar, the changes made to date are insufficient to protect migrant workers from forced labor and exploitation.

I ask that you take further steps to end forced labor by:

  1. Introducing and enforcing penalties on employers where the practice of contract substitution takes place, that forces workers to accept lower wages on arrival into Qatar.
  1. Ensuring migrant workers’ passports are returned, and that workers hold their own passports and are given their worker IDs, through more effective enforcement and implementation of current laws targeting employers.
  1. Removing impediments to workers leaving the country, and changing employers including any employer objections to exit visas.

Whilst these are important first steps in the fight to ensure basic worker rights, there is a need to go much further towards ending the abuse of migrant workers’ rights.

Thank you for your leadership on this issue and I look forward to hearing further announcements and details of substantive reforms to end modern slavery in Qatar.


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