Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue calls on 12th Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy to set up a Commission of Inquiry into Qatar’s Violations against Migrant Workers

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Press statement

The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue welcomed the 12th session of the Human Rights and Democracy Summit in Geneva with addressing the issue of neo-slavery in Qatar and the violations of foreign workers working in the World Cup buildings in Doha.

The forum called for the summit, which will be held just days before the start of the 43rd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, to come up with a recommendation to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a national investigation mission into deaths, a system of internationally banned slavery of foreign workers, listening to the voice of victims, working to compensate their families and obliging Qatar to open the way for human rights organizations to learn about the situation of migrant workers.

The Forum stated that, Doha has failed to maintain its international commitments and failed to protect the rights of the more than two million workers it employs in forced labour, which has caused many of them to die as a result of this ill-treatment. ‎

Qatar, which was called to the summit, is facing a list of accusations made by human rights organizations in Front of the Geneva Summit, from the enslavement of the employment of the facilities of the Doha World Cup 2022 and the application of inhumane measures for employment, through the prevention of workers from leaving the country and the violation of wage protection laws by not paying salaries for many months. ‎

The forum pointed out that its discussion of that file at the Geneva summit confirms that the human conscience is still alive after a human rights silence that lasted for years despite the result of these violations victims falling in that country daily due to non-human working conditions, low salaries and the absence of fair compensation, which was also confirmed by an investigation  recently presented by the German channel “WDR1”,  Qatar exploited Nepalese labor and gave it the title “Trapped in Qatar”, monitoring the plight of workers who suffered from deplorable living conditions and precarious construction sites, and revealed 1,400 deaths, which are kept silent inside and outside Qatar, according to the German program, the families of the dead workers did not receive any compensation from Doha. ‎

Most international companies operating in Qatar do not meet safety requirements and as a result many construction workers have lost their lives due to gross negligence, while the rest suffer from very poor living conditions, which are trapped by hunger and disease in inhumane working conditions, the report said.

Amnesty International blamed Qatar’s sponsorship system and that it had led to companies failing to pay thousands of dollars in corporate wages and benefits to their foreign workers, leaving them stranded and in bankruptcy, and then clearly indicating that hundreds of workers at World Cup stadiums were unpaid and starving because they could not afford food. ‎

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