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Call to better protect Gulf migrant workers

Author: Adrian Bishop, OPP.Today (UK), Published on: 6 December 2016

A call has gone out for construction companies operating in the Gulf region to “up their game” and protect migrant workers from abusive working arrangements...Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), author of the newly-published Wall of Silence, invited 100 construction companies operating in Qatar and the UAE to state the measures they are taking to stop exploitation of migrant workers.

Only 22 responded...Despite increasing public pressure for transparency and a requirement under the UK’s groundbreaking Modern Slavery Act for UK headquartered businesses to report on their global supply chain operations, many companies involved in the construction of the World Cup stadiums failed to respond to BHRRC’s outreach.

Chris McCann, Principal Consultant BSI Supply Chain Services, says, “The role business can play in driving out extreme forms of labour abuse, particularly in extended supply chains, is an invaluable one. ‘A Wall of Silence’ acknowledges the tremendous amount of best practice, and lessons, available to companies that willingly engage in the arena of business and human rights. BHRRC have issued a call to arms.”

Dr Shamir Ghumra; Director of Sustainable Products, BRE, says, “This report...highlights the very real situation facing migrant workers in the Qatar and the UAE. In an age of increasing transparency and accountability, organisations need to take heed of this report and act.”

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Related companies: Atkins Balfour Beatty Carillion Interserve J&P Group Kier Laing O’Rourke Mace Salini Impregilo SNC-Lavalin Vinci