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Guardian: Qatar mistreats foreign workers

2015-06-05 16:10

Foreign maids, cleaners and other domestic workers are being subjected to slave-like labor conditions in Qatar, with many complaining they have been deprived of passports, wages, days off, holidays and freedom to move jobs, according to the Guardian.

Hundreds of Filipino maids have fled to their embassy in recent months because conditions are so harsh. Many complain of physical and sexual abuse, harassment, long periods without pay and the confiscation of mobile phones.

The exploitation raises further concerns about labor practices in Qatar in advance of the World Cup. Qatar has the highest proportion of migrant workers in the world. In 2013, only 278,000 of the 1.8 million residents of Qatar were citizens; the other 1.5 million were expatriates. The emirate's total population grew by 9 percent in the first quarter of 2014, to an estimated 2.16 million, with the hiring of thousands of immigrant workers for World Cup construction sites.

After Guardian reports about the treatment of construction workers, the maids are not directly connected to Qatar's preparations for the football tournament, but domestic workers will play a big role in staffing the hotels, stadiums and other infrastructure that will underpin the 2022 tournament.

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