Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blog 5: Qatar- 'Systemic change' needed to protect migrants

Qatar- 'Systemic change' needed to protect migrants

With Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there country has come under the incredible spotlight that comes with the honour of hosting the world cup. With this honour comes the test of your nation, and Qatar have been found in a recent investigation by the British Daily. That the foreign migrant labourers have been mistreated in their efforts on the construction sites associated with the 2022 World Cup.
Nandita Baruah, an expert analyst on labour migration at the Asia Foundation states when asked that there is much improvement needed to help the working conditions of these workers. Recently this investigation by the Daily has found that Dozens of migrant workers have died in the past couple months whilst working on the World Cup construction sites. According to Baruah there needs to be huge structural and systemic changes by the Qatari government in order to protect these workers and to improve their living, working conditions.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has found that 1.2 million labourers in the Emirates of Qatar are and have been facing abuse and exploitation. Nepal and Bangladeshi migrant workers have found mistreatment in the middle-eastern countries.
One of the other interesting stories out of this is that many countries on the Gulf have the same issue in terms of migrant workers being treated unfairly, but the World Cup has put the spotlight on the issue for Qatar which is a good thing to help these people.
One of the challenges with this issue is that there contract issues, average to no medical care, payment issues, long working hours and terrible working conditions on top of physical and mental abuse by the contractors. Compounding these problems, migrants returned home prior to their contract date due to poor health, and were never able to pay off the loan, a vast majority of workers left with a greater debt than they came with on top of poor health.
The greater the exposure for this issue, the greater the nation will feel the need to improve the standards for these workers. The countries involved need to stand up and say something in order for our human morality to be kept if we are to compete in those stadiums built under these conditions. 

James Dougherty

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