Ask Qatar to Improve Labor Rights Record

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Target: Nasser bin Abdullah Hamidi, Labor Minister

Goal: Ask the Qatari government to improve treatment of migrant workers and to implement promised labor reforms.

The Human Rights Watch has condemned the Qatari government for failing to implement the labor reforms it promised in advance of the 2022 World Cup. Qatar has a large population of migrant labors from Asia and Africa. They often face abuse from their employers, their passports are confiscated, and they have limited legal protections. Sign the petition to ask the Qatari government to implement the promised reforms and improve treatment of migrant workers.

Migrant workers make up 99% of Qatar’s private sector. Qatar uses a sponsorship system known as “kafala” which limits the right of migrant workers to travel, change jobs, and complain about employer abuse. Recruiters are sent from Qatar to countries like India and Nepal. Workers are promised a job if they pay an exorbitant recruitment fee.

Once the migrant workers arrive in Qatar, employers are allowed to illegally confiscate their passports to prevent them from leaving. Workers are forced to live in overcrowded labor camps where their movements are restricted. They have no right to unionize or strike. Attempts by migrant workers to organize are often met with police raids and deportations. Qatari labor law specifically excludes migrant workers. Many are forced to work 12 or 14 hour days with little pay.

Kafala is a system of quasi-slavery. Qatar’s Supreme Committee has promised to implement reforms before the 2022 World Cup, but so far no action has been taken. Sign the petition to ask the Qatari government to abolish the sponsorship system and implement promised labor reforms to give migrant workers legal protection.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Labor Minister Nasser bin Abdullah Hamidi,

I am writing as a human rights activist to ask you to implement promised labor reforms prior to the 2022 World Cup. The Human Rights Watch has criticized the government for not following through with promised reforms. Qatar is one of the world’s richest countries. Yet, its achievements are built on the backs of migrant workers who form 99% of the private sector. Most laborers earn as little as $250 a month, and most do not receive their wages on time.

The International Trade Union Confederation has warned, “If they are not able to even adhere to the minimum basic workers’ rights … you will see more and more countries who will stop or boycott [them].” Qatar has supported the uprisings in Egypt, Syria and Libya. Yet in Qatar itself abuse of migrant workers is rampant and in violation of human rights law. Qatar should follow the recommendations of the Human Rights Watch and set up a timetable to abolish the sponsorship system, prevent illegal recruitment, prohibit confiscation of workers passports, and extend labor laws to protect migrant workers.

I hope you consider my thoughts.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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55 Signatures

  • James Thrailkill
  • Eric von Borstel
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  • Muhammad Kamal
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