Unpaid migrant workers left to go hungry in Qatar: Amnesty

Unpaid migrant workers left to go hungry in Qatar: Amnesty
Wed Dec 18, 2013 09:03:03

Dozens of migrant construction workers in Qatar who worked for nearly a year without pay on a prestigious tower in Doha’s financial district are facing serious food shortages and need urgent government assistance, Amnesty International says.

On International Migrants’ Day, the Amnesty International called on the Qatari authorities to address the plight of the employees of Lee Trading and Contracting (LTC) who were working in conditions that may amount to forced labor.

In mid-November Amnesty International’s secretary general visited the workers’ camp in the al-Sailiya industrial area and subsequently asked the Ministries of Labor and Interior to address the situation at the company as a matter of priority.

“It is now one month since we visited these men and found them living in desperate conditions. But their ordeal has not ended,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“They have not had been paid for nearly a year and can’t even buy food to sustain themselves on a day-to-day basis. They also can’t afford to send money back home to their families or to pay off debts.

“The Qatari government must step in now and end this crisis. The men have told us they simply want to collect the unpaid wages they are owed and to leave the country. The Ministries of Labor and Interior must deliver that as soon as possible. Doing so will signal that the government really means what it says about protecting workers’ rights.”

Conditions at the camp are grim. Some workers are sleeping on hard wooden boards without mattresses, and some of the temporary accommodation buildings are dangerously unstable; the floors and ceilings in one bedroom are close to collapsing, the organization says.


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