Rights Group Says Migrant Workers Unpaid, Trapped in Qatar
The human rights group Amnesty International says thousands of migrant workers in Qatar are not getting paid by their employers. The workers also are being forced to live in bad conditions.
Qatar promised to change its labor laws for migrants in 2018. However, Amnesty said the Qatari government had failed to improve its policies on unpaid wages.
An employment system called kafala continues to give Qatari companies great power over migrant employees. It is a system of sponsorship. The system permits companies to hold a migrant's passport. It also prevents a migrant from changing jobs. An estimated 2 million migrants work in Qatar under the kafala system.
Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, and is building roads and other infrastructure with kafala labor.
The human rights group is calling on the international community to put more pressure on Qatar to improve the conditions for its migrant workers.
Great on paper
Qatar agreed to establish committees to resolve labor disputes. It also said it would set up special insurance to help workers who want to take legal action against their employers.
The problem is that some employers simply do not pay the migrants. They also might refuse to return their passports leaving them trapped in the country.
"The reality...is once they do not get their wages...they are stuck in a long legal battle," said Amnesty's May Romanos. "And even then, the money is not guaranteed at the end." She added that the migrants end up homeless and jobless, living in terrible conditions.
In 2018, Amnesty followed the cases of more than 2,000 migrant workers working for three employers in the building and cleaning businesses. The three employers were Hamton International, Hamad bin Khaled bin Hamad (HKH) and United Cleaning. The companies stopped paying wages when they claimed they had financial problems. Then, they stopped operating. Most workers did not receive any money for the work they had done and returned to their home countries with nothing.
The Qatari government said it has made meaningful reforms. It also claims it has intervened to help migrants settle problems with their employers. Amnesty says there is an urgent need for more judges to speed up the committee hearings and to make the special insurance more widely available.
Romanos is concerned that worldwide attention will decrease after the 2022 World Cup. "If things are not changing within the...next year or so, I think there will not be any more opportunity to change the system," she said.
Building projects for the 2022 World Cup are now nearly complete. Amnesty expects the mostly male migrant workers could be replaced with female workers to service tourism. It fears those women migrants may be treated worse than the men.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.migrant workers 外来劳工
Last week alone we have had3 new children come, whose parents are migrant workers.
2.speed up 加速
I had already taken steps to speed up a solution to the problem
3.set up 建立；设立
They set up a working party to look into the issue.
4.international community 国际社会
The United Nations has appealed for help from the international community.
5.The human rights group is calling on the international community to put more pressure on Qatar to improve the conditions for its migrant workers.
put pressure on 施加压力
He may have put pressure on her to agree.
They put pressure on the Government to change its intransigent stance.
6.It also said it would set up special insurance to help workers who want to take legal action against their employers.
take legal action against 采取法律行动
We will look to see if we can take legal action against the government either in England or Europe.
They decided not to take legal action against him.
人权组织大赦国际表示，卡塔尔数千名外来劳工没有拿到雇主的薪酬 。这些劳工被迫生活在恶劣的条件下 。
卡塔尔承诺在2018年改革该国的外来劳工劳动法 。然而，大赦国际表示，卡塔尔政府未能改善该国欠薪方面的政策 。
“卡法拉”雇佣体系仍然赋予卡塔尔公司对外来劳工强大的权力 。这是一种主办体系 。该体系允许公司扣押外来劳工的护照 。它还可以阻止外来劳工换工作 。预计有200万外来劳工依照卡法拉体系在卡塔尔工作 。
卡塔尔同意成立委员会解决劳资纠纷 。它还表示，将设立特殊保险帮助想起诉雇主的劳工 。
问题在于，一些雇主根本不给劳工发工资 。他们可能还会拒绝归还护照，将劳工困在卡塔尔 。
大赦国际的梅·罗曼诺斯表示：“现实是...一旦他们拿不到工资，就会陷入漫长的法律纠纷当中 。即便如此，最终也很难保证拿到工资 。”她补充说，这些移民最后无家可归并且失业，生活在恶劣的条件中 。
2018年，大赦国际追踪了2000多名外来劳工的案例，他们在三家建筑和清洁公司打工 。这三家公司分别是汉姆顿国际、哈马德·本·哈利德·本·哈马德以及联合保洁公司 。这些公司声称有财务问题后停止了发薪 。然后他们停止了营业 。大多数劳工没有拿到他们该拿的工资，身无分文地回国 。
卡塔尔政府表示，已经进行了有意义的改革 。该国还声称已经进行了干预，帮助外来劳工解决与雇主的问题 。大赦国际表示，目前迫切需要有更多法官来加快委员会听证，并使特殊保险更为广泛 。
罗曼诺斯担心，2022年世界杯结束后，全球对卡塔尔的关注会下降 。她说：“如果明年左右这一情况仍然没有改善，我认为也不会再有什么机会来改变这一体系了 。”
2022年世界杯建设项目现已接近完工 。大赦国际预计，以男性为主的外来劳工可能会被从事旅游服务业的女性取代 。该组织担心，那些女性外来劳工会受到比男性更糟糕的待遇 。