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Allegations of Labour Abuse Against Gulf Migrant Workers

The Allegations Tracker records publicly reported cases of human and labour rights abuse committed by businesses against migrant workers in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

These numbers are based on publicly reported allegations of labour rights abuse against migrant workers in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE), in which businesses are implicated. The actual numbers of incidents of abuse and affected migrant workers are believed to be higher.

By The Numbers (January 2022 - January 2024)

This tracker will be updated on a monthly basis and includes cases dating from January 2022. If you would like more information on reading and accessing the data or would like to submit a case to the tracker, please contact us.

423

Allegations

Have been publicly reported regarding migrant worker abuse by companies since 2022

39

Construction

Accounts for the highest proportion of cases by sector.

60%

Violations of employment standards.

Most commonly reported abuse. Includes wage theft, unreasonable hours / performance targets, arbitrary dismissal, & forced labour, among other abuses.

68%

Asia & Pacific

Migrants' region of origin most commonly reported (as a percentage of cases where the nationality is known)

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries rely heavily on migrant labour. There are an estimated 20 million migrant workers in the Gulf; they account for 10% migrants globally and up to 90% of the manual labour force in the Gulf. Despite making significant contributions to the economic development of their host countries and to remittance outflows to their home countries, migrant workers face abuse, discrimination and exploitation by unscrupulous employers, as well as significant obstacles to access justice and remedy.

The Tracker analyses publicly-reported allegations against eight broad categories of abuse, encompassing 20 indicators. The data is currently downloadable at the level of the eight categories, along with an explanation of our methodology.

Whenever possible we approach named companies to invite them to respond to allegations against them. Read more about the numerous challenges we face in identifying and contacting companies regarding cases of labour abuse committed in the Gulf.

Qatar & the UAE: Construction & hotels

How are construction companies and hotel brands impacting the rights of migrant workers in Qatar and the UAE? We track company operations, survey their human rights performance, and empower advocates in civil society and business to address labour exploitation.