International Trade Union Confederation decries alleged inhumane treatment of migrant workers in Qatar

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is urging governments to take a stand against the alleged inhumane treatment of migrant workers in Qatar despite the government claiming it has made labor reforms.

The ITUC said the report that the Qatari government submitted to the International Labor Organization (ILO) contained false and misleading claims about the country's current labor laws. The report also comes a week before the ILO is expected to decide whether it should conduct a inquiry into the country's labor practices.

"The most outrageous claim in Qatar’s deceptive report to the ILO is that the notorious exit permit system has been repealed," Sharan Burrow, ITUC's general secretary, said. "This is a blatant lie – the truth is that workers still have to ask permission from their bosses to leave the country."

The ITUC also said the country misled the ILO on the number of worker deaths and injuries, citing 11 deaths and 12 injuries caused by a labor camp fire in June that the Qatari government allegedly excluded from the report.

"Qatar is putting in a huge public relations effort and using its financial power to try and compel governments to close off any possibility of an ILO Commission of Inquiry, but it continues to treat migrant workers as the property of their bosses and to suppress the truth behind the façade of the 2022 World Cup preparations," Burrow said. "None of the benchmarks for reform already set by the ILO have been properly met. Governments need to stand up to Qatar’s bully tactics and show that they will not accept the evil of modern slavery in one of the world’s richest countries."

Organizations in this Story

Emir of Qatar International Union Trade Confederation

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