The system of recruiting and hiring semi- and unskilled expats to work in Qatar is riddled with “endemic corruption” and unethical practices that result in trafficking, debt bondage and forced labor, according to a new report commissioned by Qatar Foundation.
The 160-page document, Migrant Labor Recruitment to Qatar, calls for an overhaul of the process of recruiting blue collar workers to the country.
Produced as part of the Qatar Foundation Migrant Worker Welfare Initiative, the report comes as the Gulf state faces international criticism for labor rights abuses.
It does not deny that problems exist here, but points out that many expats’ troubles begin with the recruitment process in their home countries.
The report focuses particularly on the role played by recruitment agents in the five main “labor sending” countries of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and the Philippines.
These countries supply the vast majority of the 450,000 manual laborers employed in Qatar’s construction industry, according to 2011 figures.
According to the report, current recruitment practices in sending countries are fueled by bribery, deceit and corruption, which give rise to basic human rights violations and exploit vulnerable workers.
Some of the main problems involve the hefty fees many expats must pay to recruitment companies to secure their passage to Qatar, and the false contracts presented to them in their home countries.
On the Qatar side of things, the withholding of passports, late or non-existent payments and READ MORE…