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JustHere | December 6, 2016

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Working conditions in Qatar are of “extreme risk”; among the worst 11 countries: Report

Working conditions in Qatar are of “extreme risk”; among the worst 11 countries: Report

Qatar is one of the 11 countries that slipped into the “extreme risk” category when it came to working conditions, according to a new global index by Maplecroft released last month.

A total of 197 countries were assessed for Maplecroft’s 7th annual Working Conditions Index (WCI) based on parameters such as: minimum wage levels, working hours, and health and safety in the workplace.

The number of countries that currently fall under the “extreme risk” category has increased over 20%, from 49 to 60, between 2013 and 2014, says the report. Qatar’s inclusion in the “extreme risk” category was partly propelled by international media coverage of the plight of migrant workers who were brought in to the country for the 2022 World Cup construction projects.

Late last year, Amnesty International had released a report titled ‘‘The Dark Side of Migration: Spotlight on Qatar’s construction sector ahead of the World Cup”, that scrutinised the rights and laws that the country’s low-income migrant workers were deprived of. Some of these included non-payment of salaries, poor living conditions and lack of legal aid.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, François Crépeau, too stressed on the need to abolish the country’s Kafala system that has often led to cases of forced labour, during his visit to Qatar.

Other countries that fell under the “extreme risk” category were Eritrea, North Korea, Syria, DR Congo, Bangladesh, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.

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