SAT 31 - 10 - 2020
Date: Sep 28, 2017
Source: The Daily Star
Qatar must protect workers from lethal heat, rights group says
DUBAI: Qatar must do more to protect construction workers from heat which often reaches levels that are potentially fatal, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

HRW and other rights campaigners are frequent critics of Qatar's treatment of migrant labourers whose working conditions have received additional scrutiny as the country prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.

The group said existing regulations only set limits on outdoor work during the period June 15 to Aug. 31, and then only from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"Climate data shows that weather conditions in Qatar outside those hours and dates frequently reach levels that can result in potentially fatal heat-related illnesses in the absence of appropriate rest," it said.

HRW called authorities also to investigate the causes of migrant worker deaths and publish data on such incidents. In 2013, health authorities reported 520 deaths of workers from Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, HRW said.

Like other wealthy Gulf Arab states, Qatar relies on vast numbers of migrant workers, mostly from the Philippines, South Asia and Africa.

Around 2 million migrant workers live in Qatar, outnumbering the local workforce by nearly 20 to one. Some 800,000 work in the construction sector.

Unions and labour protests are banned and authorities penalise dissent with jail or deportation.

The Qatari government's Communications Office said: "Qatar is committed to its labour reform programme and is constantly reviewing its policies to ensure that migrant workers receive the necessary on-site protections.

"We continue to coordinate closely with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and international NGOs to implement reforms that will improve the health, safety and rights of migrant workers," Sheikh Saif Al Thani, head of the Communications Office, said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Readers Comments (0)
Add your comment

Enter the security code below*

 Can't read this? Try Another.
Related News
EU rights envoy sounds alarm on Qatar freedom of speech
Amnesty says new Qatar law 'curbs freedom of expression'
UN body welcomes 'milestone' in Qatar labor reforms
Qatar council backs draft residency law for foreigners
UAE accuses Qatar of being behind 'war crimes' complaint
Related Articles
When there’s a quarrel in the Middle East, ‘let Rex handle it’
Challenges remain in Qatar’s struggle to reform labor laws
What’s next in Qatar’s foreign policy?
Why Sharjah’s women breed confidence
Copyright 2020 . All rights reserved