Qatar ensures Modi that migrant reforms will be introduced
After PM Modi raised the issue of abuse of Indian migrant workers during his weekend visit to the Gulf state, Qatar reassured India that labour reforms will improve the plight of almost half a million Indian migrants. Modi thanked the Qatar leadership for ensuring reform. Human-rights groups have long accused Qatar of abusive labour regulations and forcing migrants to toil under inhuman safety conditions.
What is the Kafala system?
The kafala system is a system used to monitor migrant labourers, working in the construction and domestic sectors in West Asia. In Qatar, the system is enforced particularly harshly. Among the most troubling aspects of the system is that workers cannot leave the country without the sponsor's permission. Employer consent is required to change jobs, get a driver's license or open a checking account.
BBC crew arrested for filming migrant labourers
A news crew from BBC was arrested in Qatar as they were attempting to film the conditions under which migrant laourers were forced to work. Qatari officials confiscated cameras, equipment and hard drives and detained the crew in a local prison for an entire day before releasing them. When questioned, the government stated that the BBC crew had been arrested for "national security" reasons.
Labourers describe 'pathetic' work conditions
Migrant orkers in Qatar said they were required to pay exorbitant fees to recruiters to get jobs in Qatar and that they were paid less than half of what was promised. They also said their passports were confiscated and they were threatened when they complained about work conditions. They were also reportedly threatened that their passports would be destroyed if they complained about pay.
Qatar WC 2022: Over 1200 migrant workers dead
A report by the International Trades Union Confederation claimed that over 1200 migrant workers died in Qatar while building infrastructure for the Fifa 2022 World Cup. According to information collected by the ITUC from the embassies of India, Nepal and Bangladesh at least 600 workers died every year between 2010-2013. Qatari officials denied the report, stating it used unverified and exaggerated statistics.
India, Nepal account for highest number of deaths
The embassies of Nepal and India, two countries which are the source of many of the migrant workers who go to Qatar, together accounted for more than 400 deaths a year - a total of 1,239 deaths in three years.
Qatar gives in, amends Kafala system
Faced with increasing pressure over the conditions of migrant labourers in the country, Qatar adopted changes to the Kafala system, to "improve labour conditions". The main change revolves around a new system where workers can appeal refused exit permits. However, human rights groups called the changes a sham, stating that exit permits had not been abolished and payment mechanisms were still ad hoc.
Amnesty International accuses Qatar of using 'forced labour'
Human rights rights group Amnesty International accused the Qatari government of using forced labour at one of the stadiums being built for the Fifa World Cup 2022. Amnesty said workers at Khalifa International Stadium were forced to live in small accommodation, pay huge recruitment fees and have had wages withheld and passports confiscated. Qatar said it was "concerned" by the allegations and would investigate.
Qatar, Fifa respond to allegations
The Qatari government said the welfare of migrant workers was a "top priority" and insisted it was committed to systematic reform of Qatar's labour laws. Fifa said measures had been taken that had already improved the situation for migrant workers.
Amnesty urges FIFA to pressure Qatar over workers
Human Rights group Amnesty International urged world football governing body, FIFA, to put pressure on Qatar over human rights abuses. The group added that it is trusting FIFA to urge government authorities in Qatar to take adequate action over the conditions of stadium construction workers. The group also alleged that the "Qatari government was apathetic and the FIFA not interested in that."
FIFA committee to monitor Qatar working conditions
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has said a new independent committee will be set up to monitor working conditions at Qatar's 2022 World Cup venues. The move is an attempt by the world football's governing body to ease fears of human rights abuses in the preparation for the 2022 World Cup. Amnesty International welcomed the move as "a step in the right direction."
Player criticise workers conditions in Qatar
Two players from Danish club FC Copenhagen have criticised conditions for labourers working on venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Criticizing the conditions labourers are forced to work under, the players said "that thousands must die to build stadiums, has nothing to do with football." Several players from other countries joined the criticism; however, they refused to disclose their identities.