Qatar: non-payment of wages “main complaint” of migrant workers

Qatar: non-payment of wages “main complaint” of migrant workers


Non-payment of wages is migrant workers' 'main complaint' to the Qatari Labor Ministry, according to two reports by the International Labor Organization (ILO) on Tuesday, 19 days before the Cup world football in the emirate. 

The number of complaints has “more than doubled”, reaching 34,425 between October 2021 and October 2022, thanks to the launch in 2021 of an online complaints platform including an anonymous whistleblower channel, according to these reports which urge Qatar to “continue to work for the full respect of international labor standards”.

Between 2018 and 2020, the host country of the Mondial-2022, regularly criticized by international unions and NGOs for its breaches of the rights human rights, in particular those of migrant workers, has undertaken far-reaching reforms of its labor legislation.

“Qatar has shown its determination to advance its reform program”, estimates the ILO, seized in 2014 of a complaint by international unions against Qatar and installed in the country since 2018. But “it is universally recognized that there are still challenges in its implementation, which is not surprising given the scale and pace of the reforms undertaken,” said the UN agency. 

Among the remaining priorities, she points to “the need to ensure that all workers and employers can benefit from labor mobility laws” from one employer to another. 

< p>“Mechanisms for workers to lodge complaints and recover their wages must be strengthened,” she adds. “And the rights of homeworkers must be better protected, including in terms of working time and rest.”

As NGOs worry about the abandonment of reforms after the World Cup- 2022 (November 20-December 18), “the government has repeatedly stated that the World Cup is not the finish line” and that these reforms are part of the emirate's economic diversification program , based mainly on its significant natural gas resources, by 2030, notes the ILO.

The agency is currently based in Qatar until 2023 and “the government has officially and publicly called for the ILO to establish a more permanent presence in Doha,” these reports state.