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ITUC slams Qatar for ignoring migrant worker's rights

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has criticised Qatar for its refusal to provide trade union rights to migrant workers, the Gulf News reported. According to the global trade union network, lack of trade union rights has a direct affect on workers’ health.

Qatar is a popular destination among Nepali migrant workers. About 500,000 Nepalis are believed to be working in the destination, which will host the World Cup Football in 2022. Qatar was third in the most preferred destination list last month, hiring 8,351 Nepalis in the construction sector.

ITUC has launched a formal complaint against Qatar at the International Labour Organisation — United Nations agency working on labour rights. Migrant workers make up 94 per cent of the Qatari workforce. Nearly 200 Nepali workers die each year in Qatar, but its government does not publicly acknowledge number of worker fatalities, a spokesperson from ITUC said.

“An event like the World Cup should be an opportunity for a wealthy nation like Qatar to modernise its social frame ork and we will be putting all the pressure we can to ensure that workers’ rights are improved as a result of the event,” ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow said in a statement.

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup organisers, have said they will ensure that contractors adhere to international labour laws. The tiny Gulf state has embarked on a massive domestic building programme in the run-up to the tournament, with plans to spend $ 11 billion on a new international airport, $ 5.5 billion on a deepwater seaport, and $ 1 billion for a transport corridor in the capital, Doha. It will spend $ 20 billion on roads.

Poor working conditions are common across the oil-rich Gulf region, where impoverished men and women from South Asia have come for decades to toil on construction sites or oil projects or to work as domestic help.


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