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Migrant Forum in Asia analyses 700 cases of wage theft against migrant workers during COVID-19; construction & hospitality workers most frequently impacted

On 7 April 2021, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) launched a new report – Crying our for Justice: Wage theft against migrant workers during COVID-19. The report is the culmination of a large-scale documentation effort by the group, analysing over 700 reported cases of wage theft documented by MFA members and partners between November 2019 and January 2021. The documentation effort is a part of MFA’s Justice For Wage Theft campaign, which appeals to countries of origin and destination, and businesses and employers to recognise the crisis affecting the millions of migrant workers whose wages have been withheld by employers during the pandemic.

All six GCC countries were among the top seven countries of destination reporting the highest number of cases: Saudi Arabia (292), Bahrain (129), Kuwait (66), Qatar (63), Malaysia (52), UAE (45) and Oman (20). 52 cases were reported from Malaysia.

Most cases were reported as impacting workers from six countries of origin: Nepal (372), India (146), Philippines (73), Bangladesh (67), Indonesia (44) and Pakistan (2).

The construction sector accounted for the largest number of cases (316), with hospitality coming second (108 cases), and manufacturing third (67). Other sectors represented in the cases are transportation, domestic work, sanitation, fishing, retail, office work and tradespersons.

The report also breaks down the case data by gender and worker documentation status.

The launch video of the report can be found below.

Analysis Report Launch | Crying Out for Justice: Wage Theft Against Migrant Workers during COVID-19