Labour abuses in Qatar fault of recruitment agencies, foundation says

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 4:19am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 6:10am


World Cup 2022 host Qatar, under international criticism over working conditions for migrant workers, said recruitment agencies in Asia were the main party to blame for abuse.

A report commissioned by the Qatar Foundation chaired by the ruling emir's mother charged that the rights of migrants, mainly Asians, are flouted in their home countries from the moment they sign up for work. "Critics of human and labour rights violations most often shift the blame to Qatar in a rather generic manner," said the report focused on workers from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

The energy-rich Gulf nation has come under international pressure to clamp down on violations of the rights of migrant workers, especially those building World Cup infrastructure.

The report insisted that this criticism underscored the need to determine the level of abuse committed at the recruitment stage, and introduce legislation in order to stamp it out.

The Qatar Foundation is a non-profit organisation promoting education, science and community development.

The report called for "greater regulation of recruitment and placement agencies in origin and destination countries, respectively" and for more cooperation between these governments.

"Proper legislation is needed to monitor the work of recruitment agencies in Qatar and in the origin countries," it said.

The report recommended recruitment agencies be banned from charging would-be migrant workers fees. Any fee should instead be paid by the company hiring the worker.

It also called on the government to ensure that workers are paid their wages on time and that employers pay salaries directly into workers' bank accounts.