A new research conducted by Amnesty International has revealed the tremendous situation in which they find themselves thousands of migrant workers are still waiting in vain for their unpaid wages and compensation, despite the promises of Qatar to improve the rights of these people.
"All work, no pay: The struggle of Qatar's migrant workers for justice", demonstrates how hundreds of migrant workers employed by three construction companies and cleaning have given up on ever achieving justice and have returned to their homes without a penny from march, 2018 . This happens despite the fact that the qatari authorities have established new committees whose purpose is to quickly resolve labor disputes, as part of the agreed reforms before the World Cup of 2022 . Last year, the committees received more than 6,000 complaints, most of which had not been resolved at the end of the year.
"despite promises of reform made by Qatar in the run-up to the fifa World Cup 2022, the country remains fertile ground for the unscrupulous employers . Migrant workers often go to Qatar with the hope of giving their families a better life; instead, many people return to home < / strong> penniless after spending months pursuing your wages , practically without the help of the systems that are supposed to protect them", has declared Stephen Cockburn , deputy director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.
The committees have been so inundated with complaints, and they have so few judges, that the workers must wait for months until they are processed their cases . Even when they are awarded compensation, often is not paid , and Qatar until now has not released the fund of support they promised in October of 2018.
"migrant workers in Qatar often face a choice impossible between a struggle long and often fruitless in the search for justice or to return to their families without the money they need to keep them. We urge the qatari authorities to fully comply with what was promised and put an end to the shameful reality of the labor , " said Stephen Cockburn.More than 2,000 people without charge for months
Since march of 2018, Amnesty International has continued to the pursuit of justice of more than 2,000 people employed by Hamton International, and Hamad bin Khaled bin Hamad (HKH) and United Cleaning after companies stop paying their salaries for several months, claiming economic hardship, before cease operations and put an end to their contracts. The companies worked on a number of projects of construction and cleaning contracts.
At least 1.620 of these workers presented complaints to the new Committees for the Resolution of Labour Disputes, introduced in march 2018 as part of a series of reforms that Qatar has promised to improve rights workers in association with the International Labour Organization. According to a report by the Department of State of the united States, the committees received more than 6,000 complaints in 2018.
Although some of their employers gave them finally a part of what they owed in exchange for the withdrawal of their allegations, the majority returned home without anything. is None of the workers received compensation through the system of committees.
The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs in qatar said to Amnesty International who had helped negotiate many of these agreements and to coordinate the provision of food and generators to the fields where the workers live and workers.Delay judicial
Although according to the law qatari is supposed that the committees pass judgment on cases in a period of six weeks from that report, Amnesty concluded that the workers had to wait between three and eight months. in the meantime, living without income in fields of work without enough food and without running water , to face the impossible choice of returning to his home or continue fighting.
Bijoy, India, waited three months before getting an appointment for a hearing; by then, he had decided to return to his home because his father was sick and hospitalized . Instead of trying to recover the more than 13,000 riyals qatari (3.750 dollars) that he owed Hamton International, Bijoy had no choice but to accept that only 1,000 riyals (us $ 275) and your return ticket to India.
Hundreds of workers most of Hamton faced the same choice.
" Begged the president's brother to give me at least 4,000 riyals (about $ 1,100). I gave to 1,000 (about us $ 275) and the plane ticket.
I Had to forget about money and go . I chose to forget it because I wanted to see my father," said Bijoy to Amnesty International.The struggle for compensation
in Addition to the prospect of a complaint process long and protracted, the workers should be resigned also to the fact that winning a case in the committee does not guarantee the payment of the compensation.
often, workers are forced to submit a new complaint in the court civilians to try to force the employers to pay them the compensation to which they are entitled. This is turn causes a new delays and increased costs , often without success.
"All of the sessions were the same: the judge told me to come back time after time.
I spent the money on taxis from one side to another . I also had to ask for permission at my new job because I had to go to court," says Roy, a worker of HKH from the Philippines.
In October 2018, Qatar also announced that it would introduce a Insurance Fund and Support Workers to award compensation. Almost a year later, this fund has no funding and is not used , despite the urgent need.
"For five months I had to live with very little food and no wages. is My family was very affected . I eyes fill up when I remember where we used to go to look for food: cubes of trash," said an employee kenyan United Cleaning.
"After two years and five months working for United Cleaning without take never holiday, l a company owes me a lot of money who refuses to pay me . If I can, I will be able to return home with my wife and my son," he added.it Is urgent to put an end to the exploitation
Qatar hosts approximately two million migrant workers, but does not meet international labour standards. is Amnesty International has urged repeatedly to Qatar to abolish the abusive kafala system , which links workers to their employers for up to five years and prevents some groups, such as workers and women working in the household, to leave the country without their employers ' permission.
"The two million migrant workers that form the backbone of the economy in qatar have the right to receive a fair deal at work , and to obtain justice if they don't get it," said Stephen Cockburn.
"If Qatar take serious the fulfillment of his promises to improve the rights of workers, should provide more judges to guarantee that the cases are responded to quickly, it should fully fund the compensation fund and should ensure that companies which break the rules face the justice ".
Amnesty International wrote to the three companies to allow them to explain their conclusions, but not answered .Updated Date: 19 September 2019, 06:01