UN report condemns discrimination against migrant workers in Qatar

by Maruf Adedeji
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The United Nations has unveiled a special report to condemn structural racial discrimination against non Qataris worker in Qatar .

The report showing a ‘de facto caste system based on national origin’ in Qatar will soon be presented to the UN human rights council.

European, North American, Australian and Arab nationalities are on the list of people who systematically enjoy human rights protections in Qatar, according to the damning report released on Wednesday July 15, 2020.

The report further said Qatar’s non-nationals from South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are being racially discriminated against in the country.

South Asia as well as East and West African nationals are the majority of Qatar’s low-income workers, while about 2 million migrant workers in Qatar.

A British news agency said nearly 100 thousand workers are engaged in different projects connected to World Cup 2022 event in Qatar, apart from the 18,500 workers currently building World Cup 2022 stadiums.

The UN special rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, who wrote the report, said Qatar “needs to do more in the light of the persistent complex challenges that undermine its compliance with its International obligations”.

The report also said low-income workers continue to suffer high discrimination and and exploitation.

The report also captured several violations of human rights including unsafe working conditions, racial profiling by police and restrictions to some public spaces.

Finding justice for labour violations is difficult for many low-income workers due to ‘partialities ingrained in the kafala (sponsorship) system, and workers are tagged to ‘have absconded’ if they are absent from work in demand of labour rights.

The sponsorship system makes it impossible for workers to change jobs without their employer’s approval.

Qatar has turned down a meeting with the UN officials in January, 2020, sequel to publication of priliminary findings by the UN special rapporteur on slavery.

FIFA as a World’s international football governing body has been accused of failing to examine the racial discrimination report by Achiume.

“We are working closely with all relevant stakeholders towards an inclusive tournament experience for all and a firm stance against any form of discrimination,” FIFA said.

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