By The Numbers (Jan 2016 - May 2021)
This tracker will be updated on a monthly basis and informs the statistics on the Migrants in the Gulf project page. Cases included date from January 2016. 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.
Have been publicly reported regarding migrant worker abuse by companies since 2016
Impacted in the documented cases
Migrant workers most commonly report withheld, delayed or non-payment of wages
Denial of Freedoms
Withholding passports, non-renewal of visas & preventing protests or strikes all threaten workers' fundamental freedoms
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.
A year of battling COVID-19: Pandemic exacerbated an already grim reality for migrant workers in the Gulf
Intimidation, wage theft and health and safety breaches are among the abuses inflicted upon vulnerable migrant workers in Gulf states. A stark rise in allegations since the start of the pandemic has underscored their vulnerability in a region with an unquenchable desire for cheap migrant labour.
Find Out More
To mark 2019 International Migrants Day, we analysed all allegations tracked from Jan 2016 to Nov 2019.
Blog: Intl. Migrants Day 2019
This blog examines the challenges to identify and hold companies accountable for labour abuses in the Gulf.
Download and view all allegations and our analysis of the labour abuse.
How do we reach our numbers? Take a look at our methodology.
COVID-19: Spike in allegations of labour abuse against migrant workers in the Gulf
During the COVID-19 crisis we have seen a 275% increase in allegations of abuse; COVID-19 is cited as a key or worsening factor in 95% of cases recorded between April and August.