28.04.2014

“My Sleep is my Break”. Amnesty International Report about Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers in Qatar


87% of the Qatari population 15 years or older was born outside the country. The rate of immigrants is one of the highest in the world; nearly 60% come from the Sub-Indian Continent (26% from India, 17% from Nepal and around 5% from Bangladesh). The “Kafala System” makes Immigrants to bonded labors; the living conditions of construction workers (who are also preparing for the Fifa World Cup in 2022) often are worse, especially vulnerable are women who work as domestic workers. AWO International’s partner organizations WARBE and POURAKHI work for migrants rights and contribute to make migration more safe.

Very recently Amnesty International launched a new report about exploitation of migrant domestic workers in Qatar.  The following paragraphs are taken over from Amnesty International and describe the content of the publication:

More than half of all women migrant workers in Qatar are employed in private homes. Working as cleaners, child-minders or cooks, they make an important contribution to Qatar’s wider economy. Some domestic workers are respected and welcomed into families. However, abusive recruiters and employers who choose to exploit women face few constraints and many women find that promises of good salaries and working conditions are dashed on arrival in Qatar.

Qatar’s laws do not limit the number of hours a day or the number of days a week that domestic workers can be asked to work. Fifteen-hour days and seven-day weeks are not unusual. Some domestic workers are not paid for months on end; others are not paid at all.

At its worst extreme, the abuse of domestic workers can involve physical and sexual abuse. In some cases, their treatment can amount to forced labour and human trafficking. For women facing such brutal conditions, getting help is not easy: domestic workers told Amnesty International that their phones were confiscated and they were confined to the house. Women who leave the house without permission face the risk of arrest, detention and deportation if they are reported for “absconding” by their employer.

This Amnesty International report, based on interviews with migrant workers, government officials and others, examines the way in which domestic workers are failed by serious flaws in Qatar’s laws and policies. It ends with recommendations to the Qatari government on how to prevent abuses and ensure the human rights of migrant domestic workers.

Click here to download the Amnesty report about Domestic Migrant Workers in Qatar


Click here to browse the website of “The Guardian” describing the working conditions of Nepalese Migrants in Qatar

Nepali migrant workers preparing dinner for tourists in the Arabian Desert close to Doha

Front page of the Amnesty Report