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JustHere | August 23, 2017

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UN to send its special rapporteur to monitor migrant rights in Qatar

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau will be visiting Qatar to monitor and report on the situations of migrants in the country.

His visit comes close on the heels of an inspection by an 18-member team from the Building and Wood Worker’s International federation, a few weeks ago. One of the many recommendations the delegation had was the abolishment of the kafala system of sponsorship-based employment. The team was also quite critical of the way the inspection was facilitated and of what it saw.

The plight of migrant workers in Qatar has been in focus ever since the country won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup. More recently, a series of reports by The Guardian on the exploitation of Nepalese workers in Qatar fuelled the growing concern over the environment in which these migrants live and work.

Crépeau, who will be in Qatar November 2-10, points out that due to significant immigration flows since the 1980’s, Qatar has the highest ratio of migrants to citizens in the world.

“Quite uniquely, approximately 88% of the total population are foreign nationals in this destination State for migrants, who are employed mainly in construction, services and domestic work,” he said in a statement.

During the visit, Crépeau will be discussing the situation of migrant workers with a range of government officials, international organisations, civil society and migrants themselves. A visit to a prison and a migrant detention centre is also on the agenda. A comprehensive report of the visit will then be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014.

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