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UN agency must keep up pressure on Qatar as government’s migrant labour reforms fall short

The International Labour Organization (ILO)’s governing body must continue to scrutinize Qatar’s record on migrant labour abuse, Amnesty International said, ahead of a crucial 21 March decision on a complaint brought by trade unions against the Gulf state. Last week the government stated it had “repealed” its controversial sponsorship law, including the requirement that migrant workers obtain an exit permit from their employers to leave the country.

Date:
17 March 2017
  • Research
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Business and Human Rights

Qatar - New name, old system? Qatar's new employment law and abuse of migrant workers

Qatar has been under intense international scrutiny for its treatment of migrant workers since being awarded the rights to host the 2022 World Cup. Particular focus has been placed on the notorious 2009 sponsorship law, which ties workers to their employers, putting them at risk of forced labour. In December 2016, this law is being replaced. This briefing examines whether its replacement, Law No. 21 of 2015, will make any significant improvement to the lives of workers in the country.

Date:
12 December 2016
Ref:
MDE 22/5242/2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Business and Human Rights

Qatar: Migrant workers still at risk of abuse despite reforms

New law barely scratches the surface of labour exploitation Bosses can still trap World Cup and other workers in Qatar FIFA must push for real change Changes to labour laws in Qatar barely scratch the surface and will continue to leave migrant workers, including those building stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup, at the mercy of exploitative bosses and at risk of forced labour, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today.

Date:
12 December 2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Censorship and Free Speech

GCC summit: Systematic clampdown on freedom of expression in Gulf

The appalling human rights records of states in the Gulf must not be swept under the carpet when member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) gather in the Bahraini capital, Manama, this week (6-7 December) for their annual summit, said Amnesty International today. Human rights will be notably absent from the agenda at the annual meeting when the six GCC states - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - come together to discuss trade and security cooperation, with no mention of the widespread crackdown witnessed across the region on the grounds of security.

Date:
5 December 2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Qatar: Blocking of Doha News website ‘an outright attack’ on media freedom

In response to the news that access to Doha News, Qatar’s leading independent English language daily news site has been blocked to internet users inside the country, James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Global Issues said: “This is an alarming setback for freedom of expression in the country. Deliberately blocking people in Qatar from accessing a legitimate news website would be an outright attack on media freedom.

Date:
1 December 2016
  • Research
  • Brazil
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Wire Magazine July-September 2016: International Day of the Disappeared

From Brazilian youths who are taking to boxing as a route out of the violence sullying Rio’s Olympics, to the Nepali migrants who risk so much for a better and safer life, hope fills the pages of this edition of WIRE. Features include the results of our survey on people’s attitudes to refugees, China’s crackdown on human rights lawyers, and a special focus on 30 August, the International Day of the Disappeared.

Date:
4 July 2016
Ref:
NWS 21/4217/2016
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Unfair Trials

Qatar: Upholding torture-tainted convictions exposes “deep flaws” in justice system

The convictions of three Filipino nationals on charges of espionage were yesterday upheld by Qatar’s Court of Cassation. The Court upheld one life term and two sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment. James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle and North Africa programme, said:  “The court’s decision to uphold the convictions of these three men, after an unfair trial in which the authorities totally failed to investigate credible allegations of torture, is the latest demonstration of the deep flaws in Qatar’s criminal justice system, particularly as regards its treatment of migrant workers”.

Date:
3 May 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Qatar
  • Business and Human Rights

Campaign update: FIFA and Qatar government responding to our pressure

Together we called on football’s governing body, FIFA, and the Qatari government to protect migrant workers building the 2022 World Cup – and they’ve started to listen. In March 2016, we exposed the exploitation of migrant workers building the Khalifa International Stadium, which will host a semi-final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. We showed how they face extortionate recruitment fees, delayed payment of salaries, dirty and overcrowded accommodation and passport confiscation.

Date:
3 May 2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Business and Human Rights

FIFA President Gianni Infantino must end silence on Qatar human rights abuses

Gianni Infantino must use his meetings with Qatari officials to press for reform of laws that leave migrant workers at risk of exploitation and abuse, sometimes even forced labour, said Amnesty International before the FIFA President visits Qatar from 20-22 April. “Gianni Infantino has a golden opportunity to show that under his Presidency FIFA will promote human rights. Without robust engagement starting right now, every football fan who visits Qatar in 2022 is likely to directly encounter migrant workers – in hotels, sports venues, shops – whose human rights have been abused,” said Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty International’s Gulf Migrants Rights Researcher.

Date:
19 April 2016
  • Video
  • Qatar
  • Migrants

Fair Play Qatar

In 2015 Mustafa Qadri travelled to Qatar to investigate working conditions in migrant camps. Fearful of what might happen to him as a result of his investigation, Mustafa took great care when interviewing Ramesh, a Nepalese worker living in desperate conditions whose passport had been taken from him. However, his investigation was still almost discovered. Interrogated by police, Mustafa was able to smuggle his report out of the camp and take it to the National Human Rights Committee, leading to the release of Ramesh and 34 other workers.

Date:
19 April 2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Migrants

Ruggie Report: Migrant workers in Qatar cannot afford more broken promises from FIFA

FIFA President Gianni Infantino cannot afford to continue the organization’s indifference to human rights abuses in Qatar, said Amnesty International today, following the publication of a report identifying major shortcomings in FIFA’s policies and practices. FIFA hired John Ruggie, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School, to review and report on the organization’s business practices in December 2015.

Date:
14 April 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Egypt
  • Torture and other ill-treatment

15 brilliant human rights wins in March!

March was an incredible month for human rights – activists were released, unfair laws were changed, and people who committed serious human rights abuses were brought to justice. We’ve picked out 15 successes, wins and pieces of good news, and they were all made possible thanks to your support. 1. Egypt: Teen who challenged torture released after more than two years 20-year-old Mahmoud Hussein (pictured above) was released from prison in Egypt after spending more than two years behind bars for wearing an anti-torture t-shirt.

Date:
31 March 2016
  • Campaigns
  • Qatar
  • Migrants

Qatar: World Cup 2022 forced labour

Migrant workers building Khalifa International Stadium in Doha for the 2022 World Cup have suffered systematic abuses, in some cases forced labour, Amnesty International reveals in a new report. The report, “The ugly side of the beautiful game: Labour exploitation on a Qatar 2022 World Cup venue”, blasts FIFA’s shocking indifference to appalling treatment of migrant workers. The number of people working on World Cup sites is set to surge almost ten-fold to around 36,000 in the next two years.

Date:
31 March 2016