TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- As the FIFA World Cup draws near, the United Nations Labour agency reported a growing number of complaints about unpaid wages by migrant workers in Qatar.
As a result of the new online platform, International Labour Organization (ILO) says worker complaints have more than doubled to 34,425 in a year. It calls on Qatar to bolster reforms launched following criticism of its rights record.
“Non-payment of wages and end-of-service benefits, as well as unpaid annual leave, were the most common complaints,” the report said, which added that nearly all labour tribunal judges ruled in workers’ favor in 10,500 cases.
After new restrictions were introduced in 2021, workers treated for heat-related issues have also declined in the Gulf state’s searing summer temperatures.
It reported that 351, down from 620 and 1,520, were treated at specialised clinics this summer.
In addition to workers’ conditions, rights for women and the LGBTQ community have been widely criticised in Qatar, where the World Cup starts on November 20.
Qatar has carried out “significant” reforms that have “improved the working and living conditions of hundreds of thousands of workers” and are having an impact throughout the Gulf region, according to the ILO.
“There is a universal acknowledgement that more needs to be done to fully apply and enforce the labour reforms,” said the report.
“We all acknowledge that we are not yet at the finish line, and we will build on this solid foundation to address the gaps in implementation, and ensure that all workers and employers are fully benefited by these major reforms,” said Ruba Jaradat, ILO regional director for Arab states.