Millions of dollars worth bribe paid as ‘recruitment fees’ by migrant workers; Ethical obligation to speak up
- JustHere Qatar
- On January 9, 2014
If we anticipate an influx of 300,000 low-income workers in the next couple of years, then around $125 million would have been paid in bribes and kickback, according to Dr Ray Jureidini, an expert on migration studies.
Though the Qatar labour law doesn’t allow for any recruitment fees or charges to be paid by the employees, the primary sending countries do.
This is anywhere between 1 to 3 months of salary, as per the local laws there. However, in reality an unskilled worker would pay anything between $500 to $5000. This is raised by becoming indebted to loan sharks at average interest rates of 35% per annum, said Dr Jureidini, sharing the research findings, that led to the drawing up of Qatar Foundation’s Mandatory Standards for Migrant Workers Welfare.
The whole process, hence, goes against Islamic ethics, both financial and moral, he emphasised.
He recounted an exchange during a research trip to Bangladesh, when he was offered a ‘commission’ of $500 per head, for an ‘order of 30 labourers’, and $600 per head for an order of 100 workers. He calculates the aforementioned bribe of millions, based on these standard practices.
“It is the unskilled workers who take out loans to pay for these bribes. We cannot ignore this as a normal process of business. I consider it to be corruption.”
He quoted Migration Economist Manola Abella to support his argument: “What the recruiter gets is not a fee for the recruiter’s service but a ‘bribe’ for the job he or she offers.”
Dr Jureidini was speaking on the subject, Migrant Workers Recruitment: Challenges & Recommendations, at the Research Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE),
He spoke about the different stages of exploitations that unskilled workers face, even before coming to receiving countries.
One of the key recommendations made by Dr Jureidini has already been made part of QF’s Mandatory standards: Reclassify worker recruitment fees as bribe and ensure employing companies pay all recruitment costs.
While commending QF for implementing these standards, he also said when it came to provisions on termination of contract, QF standards were as ambiguous as the Qatar Labour law.
Other issues that he raised include lack of uniformity of wages and exploitation of workers on arrival here, though the focus was on the debt trap most workers are caught in pre-departure. “Dignity is debt free,” he stressed.
Executive Director of CILE Dr Tariq Ramadan giving a commentary on the presentation said by marginalising and exploiting workers we were nurturing racism and phobia.
Unethical treatment of migrants is against Islamic and universal principles, he said, adding that the QF Mandatory Standards was a starting point to set it right.
“How come we speak about Islamic values and family when there are people here who see their wives once a year for 30 yrs.” (The minimum salary required to be able to bring your family here is QR10,000 in Qatar, as opposed to QR2,400 in Bahrain.)
Responding to a comment on why people keep quiet against unethical practices, Dr Ramadan insisted that we have to liberate ourselves from fear and must question from a human and religious point of view.
For more detailed analyses on migrant rights, check out the JustHere series by our columnist Aakash Jayaprakash.
- Kafala will be abolished… ultimately; But Qatar’s big announcement on labour laws is still pending cabinet approval
- Qatar Cost of Living: The JustHere Survival Matrix
- [UPDATED PHOTOS] Happy National Day Qatar!
- Damien Hirst is coming to town, and here are 10 things you should know about him
- First 7000 newborn babies in Qatar during Ramadan will receive baby car seats
- Cleansing of Doha: The Old Downtown Disappears
- Weekend Radar (July 4-6)
- ‘Whoa’ moment as Qatar’s overall population grows by 11.26%; 13.34% rise in that of females
- Weekend Radar (June 20 – 22)
- Souq Haraj awaits its inevitable fate in light of 2022
- Weekend Radar (June 6-8)
- Tickets for the June 13 Disney On Ice show up for grabs
- State mandates employers to medically insure employees under new law
- Runaways and Absconders; Slavery and Kafala: A dig into history
- Weekend Radar (May 30 – June 1)
- Atop the Everest: A mental feat more than a physical one
- Where do We Learn Arabic?
- All in a Day’s Work
- Weekend Radar (May 23-25)
- Not enough PHCs in Qatar to meet growing population
- Tipping point… who deserves gratuity?
- Blood donation in Qatar continues to be a challenge
- The coronavirus scare in GCC: What you need to know
- Ooredoo and Messi launch initiative for children’s health
- Been in Qatar long enough to remember these?
- Let’s Meet: Jeet Bahadur Mogar
- Onaiza Park: A splash of colours
- Ta2heel: By the youth for the youth… a uniquely Qatar initiative
- What you need to know about Emir Cup 2013
- Weekend Radar (May 16-18)
- QAWS receives a one month reprieve
- Hike or no hike in school fees?
- No lessons learned after Villaggio. The smoke continues well after the fire.
- Al Dhakhira gets first model commercial complex
- What every pedestrian in Qatar must know.
- Fatima Al-Nesf: Living her life in cartoons
- Inaccessible Qatar… where do we begin?
- Ready for some punchlines?
- A year more for neighbourhood stores
- UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi lead the race for regional tourism revenue growth
- Weekend Radar (May 9 – 11)
- Al Salihiya Juice Stall: Honk, and ye shall be served!
- How free is the free visa?
- Disney on Ice tickets now on sale
- In Qatar, traffic is a bigger killer than cancer
- 6˚ of Separation: The child in us
- Why QAWS’s success will be the community’s as well
- Payment woes for freelancers in Qatar
- DCMF event receives thumbs down
- Weekend Radar (May 02-04)
- DFI and Tribeca’s partnership comes to a close
- Second phase of Kulluna campaign promotes cardiac health
- Student filmmakers left in the lurch at Al Jazeera Docu Fest
- Traffic surveillance cameras to keep check on violators
- An Artistic Hypocrisy?
- More female nationals in the workforce than in other GCC states
- There’s smoke, there’s fire, and no one knows how
- Weekend Radar (April 25-27)
- QF attempts to change workers’ plight in Qatar
- Where to find a good book in Qatar
- The Greatest Gift
- It’s Earth Day today. Are you doing your bit?
- QMA launches free Mathaf Shuttle Bus service. Hop on.
- Where you from?
- Winners announced for the DCMF cartoon competition
- The mad gold rush
- The Park that’s more than just that
- Shisha Vs Cigarette: Which kills more?
- Qatar 2022 in the firing line again
- The Katara Dilemma: What do we do about misbehaviour?
- How to stay safe during an earthquake
- Weekend Radar (April 18-20)
- Qatar rocks, literally, as earthquake hits Iran-Pakistan border
- Qatar’s not a cheap place to live in
- Qatar should ensure a reliable legal framework for contractors: Merkel
- How much do your schooling expenses come to?
- Ezdan Mall partially opens in Doha
- More sports tournaments for migrant workers
- Qatar’s fuming: Cigs, shisha & the havoc that it wrecks
- Yet another case of intellectual property rights violation in Qatar
- 10 Quick Escapes for the Parent
- Qatarisation is imperative, but nationals shy away
- Enjoy the best deals in Qatar
- DFI to hold 48 hour documentary challenge
- Let’s Meet: Moidunny Karupp Theruvath
- Weekend Radar (April 11-13)
- 10 ways to make learning fun
- The divisiveness of your toxicity
- Parking, parking everywhere, who wants to use it?
- A Qatar Obsession: Adventurous & Deadly… Here’s to a safer ATV ride
- Qatar Biobank reaches 200th participant
- You won’t get lost finding this one!
- Sailing through luxury
- Count the paper you use
- Weekend Radar (April 4-6)
- Magical mystery tour of Qatar
- Jobs, and more jobs
- Rachel Gadsden: A vision beyond sight
- Don’t be shocked
- Indecent behaviour outside EC. Stay alert!
- Here’s a reader’s verdict on Qatari newspapers
- Weekend Radar (March 28-30)
- Why does journalism in Qatar look more like PR?
- Tuitions step in where schools fail
- Uniquely Qatar… See Queue, Will Jump
- 60 minutes of darkness
- Who’s up for the Workers Cup?
- Let our Children Be
- Qatar is the region’s second best travel and tourism hub, after UAE
- 10 Best Souvenirs From Qatar
- Are we saying goodbye to our local grocery stores?
- Exhibition Review: Hey’ya – Arab Women in Sport
- Hunger Games in Doha
- Privilege Vs Creativity
- Working from home… and home is a Doha café with free wi-fi
- School admissions in Qatar: Tough Lessons To Learn
- Exotic. Illegal. Blatant.
- What She Wears: The Dress Code Debate
- Aesthetics Trumps Conservation?
- Dubai Parks and Resorts to open region’s largest entertainment destination, including first-ever Bollywood theme park, this October