Time to save face: Qatar promises action on World Cup labour violations

Time to save face: Qatar promises action on World Cup labour violations
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Published October 1st, 2013 - 09:40 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Workers have described being forced to work in 50 degrees Celsius heat without a supply of drinking water by employers who withhold salaries for several months and retain passports to prevent workers from leaving the country.
Workers have described being forced to work in 50 degrees Celsius heat without a supply of drinking water by employers who withhold salaries for several months and retain passports to prevent workers from leaving the country.
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Qatar has promised to crack down on private building companies who exploit migrant workers, following a Guardian investigation that revealed alarming numbers of labourers are dying in the building boom prior to the 2022 World Cup.

Qatari labour minister Saleh Al Khulaifi said the Gulf state would recruit more inspectors to mount raids and checks on companies to ensure they comply with labour laws and hire more interpreters to speed up the treatment of complaints from foreign workers.

The move, announced on Monday, is the clearest admission yet from a senior official of serious problems in Qatar’s handling of its 1.2 million migrant labourers. It follows warnings that unless Qatar’s punishing labour system is changed, at least 4,000 workers could die before a ball is kicked at the World Cup.

Al Khulaifi said Qatar took allegations of maltreatment very seriously, and told reporters: “We will not hesitate to take necessary action to protect the rights of [the] expatriate workforce.”

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