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7 Mar 2022

Samindra Kunti, New Frame

Qatar: AlBateel security co. allegedly involved in deceptive recruitment practices, wage abuses and strenuous working conditions of migrant workers

See all tags Allegations

Ekkasit A Siam, Shutterstock

"The human cost of the Qatar World Cup" 7 March 2022

Migrant workers brought in under the sponsor system to build and guard the new football stadiums, hotels and malls are overworked, in debt, and trapped in the country.

... He had his passport confiscated and doesn’t have health cover, yet he works 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The work is brutal and exhausting and it isn’t even summer yet when temperatures in Qatar soar to 50°C.

David’s pay is a paltry 1 000 Qatari rials (about R4 200) a month, the minimum wage. The recruitment fee he paid to come to Qatar was $2 000 (about R30 500)...He is on probation for six months and, indebted, can neither quit his job nor leave the country...

He claims that most Al Bateel Securicor workers don’t have Hamad health cards, which employers are legally obligated to give to their employees so that they can use Qatar’s public health system...

Suing their employers is risky. Workers could lose their housing and income, and they risk deportation and becoming more indebted. They also often have little with which to substantiate and prove their claims as payslips and other documentation are mostly non-existent or withheld...

Al Bateel declined to comment telephonically on the allegations levelled against it. The company and the government’s media office had not responded to questions emailed in January at the time of publishing.