LONDON-SANA- Labor abuse remains “rampant” in Qatar since it won the right to organize the 2022 FIFA World Cup five years ago, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
Reuters quoted the organization as saying in a statement that Qatar’s “kafala”, or work- sponsorship system, puts foreign workers at the mercy of their employers. Foreigners account for 94 percent of Qatar’s work force, Reuters said.
But labor activists and rights groups say the reforms do not go far enough and that workers are still required to seek their employer’s consent to change jobs or leave the country.
“Under the kafala system it is all too easy for an unscrupulous employer to get away with the late payment of salaries, housing workers in squalid and cramped housing, or threatening workers who complain about their conditions,” said Amnesty’s Gulf Migrant Rights Researcher Mustafa Qadri.
“That is why kafala requires a major overhaul, not just tinkering at the edges,” he said.
On Nov. 21 police were called to break up a rare work stoppage after several hundred men working at the Musheirib building site in downtown Doha went on strike complaining of unpaid wages.
Some 260 migrant workers from India have died in Qatar in 2015, according to figures from the Indian embassy in Doha seen by Reuters.
The figure covers all migrant deaths, not just those directly related to labor conditions.
H. Zain/ Barry