Amnesty condemns Qatar for migrant worker abuse
Numerous migrant workers who work construction jobs for the World Cup stadium have reported extremely poor working conditions. (AFP/File)
Amnesty International has censured Qatar for failing to protect domestic workers from severe exploitations in the country.
The international human rights group said in a report issued on Wednesday that the migrant workers in the Gulf state are victims of abuse, including forced labor, excessively long working hours, verbal harassment and physical and sexual violence.
According to Amnesty researchers, some women in the country reported working up to 100 hours a week with no days off while others said they were banned from leaving the house altogether.
The group added that some of the women reported being “slapped, pulled by the hair, poked in the eyes, and kicked down the stairs by their employers,” and that three said they were raped.
Meanwhile, Audrey Gaughran, the group’s global issues director, said in a statement that migrant domestic workers face a discriminatory system that denies them “basic protections and leaves them open to exploitation and abuse including forced labor and human trafficking.”
“We have spoken to women who have been terribly deceived, then found themselves trapped and at the mercy of abusive employers, banned from leaving the house,” the statement said.
Qatar employs at least 84,000 female domestic workers, most of them from South and Southeast Asian countries.
Qatar’s labor law does not cover domestic workers, the rights group said, adding that there are no legal limits on how long the domestic workers can work or mandates that they be given a day off.
The gas-rich country has already come under fire over its treatment of foreign workers who are building infrastructure for the 2020 FIFA World Cup.
Amnesty called on Qatar “to urgently remove provisions in the labor law which deny labor rights to domestic and other workers.”
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