International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) welcomed the State of Qatar’s steps on reimbursing the fees of bringing in 30,000 migrant workers in the construction of World Cup facilities.
The confederation said that, by the end of March, more than 5,500 people from across South Asia (one-third of the workforce) will recover the money they have paid to intermediaries who hired them to work in Qatar.
ITUC added that Doha is negotiating with a number of mediators to recover fees for the rest of the construction workers, which are expected to reach 30,000 by 2019. The amount may total up to 3.6 million pounds.
The employment fees have become a thorny issue for Qatar and that dealing with them is part of the efforts of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy to improve the human rights file, pointing out in this context that workers pay money to mediators in their home countries to work abroad.
Now, as part of plans by Qatar to end the abuse, contractors will reimburse the money paid by the workers over the period of their employment. The amount they get will depend on their country of origin as figures can vary, the confederation said.
Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, said: “Recruitment fees are a major problem for migrant workers in many countries, including Qatar.
“Cleaning up the recruitment process for migrant workers so they get the jobs and wages they signed up for and stopping unlawful recruitment fees which force migrant workers into debt bondage is a global challenge,” she said.
“All countries of origin must also ban recruitment fees and rigorously enforce the ban. This is a positive step as part of the ongoing labor reforms in Qatar,” Burrow added.
Published on 18 March 2018