Emir set to face labour issues during Asian tour

Qatar's Emir is due to face tough questioning on Qatar's labour issues during his tour of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka this week.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

With Qatari labour issues hanging in the air, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is set to face tough questioning during his tour of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka this week.

It will be his first official state visit to any of the three countries.

Comprising about a third of the labour force, Asians constitute a significant portion of the foreign labour force in Qatar, and the low-paid workers are relied on to fuel the country’s booming construction sector.

Qatar has come increasingly under fire for treatment of its labour force, by international and local human rights groups and unions.

Issues reported include forcing workers to relinquish their passports, banning them from travel without their employer’s permission, low wages, poor living conditions within workers accommodation and unsafe working conditions.

Last year, at least 277 Indians died in Qatar, following 241 in 2013 and 237 in 2012, according to the Indian embassy in Doha. Estimates put the Indian population at 500,000 in the country.

During 2014, more than 3850 complaints relating to labour and welfare issues were recorded.

The workers’ pay is often essential to support families back home, while contributing to the local economies, reports Arabian Business.
 

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