Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup, and you can watch it on Live Football TV. It is difficult to ignore the crisis of migrant workers facing dire conditions in Qatar. With an estimated 2 million migrant workers in the country and reports of abuse, exploitation, and human rights violations rampant, what can be done to alleviate this crisis? Let’s take a deeper look into Qatar’s migrant worker crisis and what we can do about it.
The Root of the Problem: The Kafala System
At the heart of this problem is the kafala system, a sponsorship system that ties a migrant worker’s visa to their employer. This has resulted in many employers taking advantage of their employees by withholding wages, forcing them to work long hours under hazardous conditions without breaks or holidays, seizing passports and denying freedom of movement, as well as physical and sexual abuse. Many migrants find themselves trapped in these terrible circumstances due to fear of repercussions from their employers if they speak up against them.
What Can Be Done?
Fortunately there are steps that can be taken towards alleviating this crisis. For starters, Qatar needs to address its labor laws which currently do not provide enough protection for workers’ rights. They must also reform or abolish the kafala system which allows employers too much power over their employees and leads to so much exploitation and abuse. Additionally, creating more effective mechanisms for workers to report abuses or grievances would go a long way towards helping protect them from exploitation and ensure that their rights are respected and upheld. Finally, bettering labor inspections would help make sure that those who are found guilty of violating workers’ rights are held accountable accordingly.
The plight of migrants working in Qatar is one that cannot be ignored any longer; real change needs to happen fast in order to protect these individuals from further exploitation and abuse as well as ensure that human rights are respected. While there is still much work left to be done when it comes to solving this crisis, by taking action on reforming labor laws, abolishing or reforming kafala system, providing better reporting mechanisms for abuses or grievances against employers as well as improving labor inspections we can help create a safer environment for all migrant workers in Qatar. Doing so will not only benefit them but also help set higher standards across all industries worldwide when it comes to protecting workers’ rights and ensuring they are treated fairly no matter where they come from or what job they have been hired for.