Outreach to companies on COVID-19 regarding the protection of migrant workers in Qatar and the UAE

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In early March reports emerged of a sudden jump in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 among migrant construction workers quarantined in a labour camp in Qatar. The Qatari government responded by locking down camps 1 to 32. An outbreak in these labour camps should not have been a surprise. Migrant workers to Gulf countries, largely from the global south (including Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Kenya), live in tightly packed labour camps, often in unsanitary conditions, some without access to running water.

We asked 14 international construction companies operating in the Gulf as well as FIFA and the Supreme Committee, to outline the steps they are taking to protect workers in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic; this briefing note summarises seven company responses and the responses of FIFA and the Supreme Committee. The questions we asked can be accessed here.

Company responses have revealed that while many companies are taking extensive steps to prevent the spread of the virus with awarenes-raising and hygiene programmes, further vital action is required from both construction companies and governments to ensure the safety of workers both in the camps and on site. In particular, we are calling for urgent changes to worker accommodation to allow social distancing and for assurances workers who cannot work will still be paid. All materials relating to the briefing can be accessed here.

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Company non-response
7 April 2020

AF Construction re migrant worker welfare in Qatar & the UAE during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: AF Construction

Company non-response
7 April 2020

Al Balagh Trading & Contracting re migrant worker welfare in Qatar & the UAE during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: Al Balagh Trading & Contracting

Company non-response
7 April 2020

Al Naboodah Construction re migrant worker welfare in Qatar & the UAE during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: Al Naboodah Construction

Company response
7 April 2020

Bam International re migrant worker welfare in UAE during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: BAM International

Download the full document here

Company response
7 April 2020

Besix/ Six Construct re migrant worker welfare in UAE during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: Besix/ Six Construct

Download the full document here

Company response
7 April 2020

Bin Omran re migrant worker welfare in Qatar during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: Bin Omran Trading & Contracting

Download the full document here

Company response
7 April 2020

Laing O'Rourke re migrant worker welfare in UAE during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: Laing O'Rourke

Download the full document here

Company response
7 April 2020

Multiplex re migrant worker welfare in the UAE during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: Multiplex

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Company non-response
7 April 2020

Petroserv re migrant worker welfare in Qatar & the UAE during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: Petroserv

Company non-response
7 April 2020

Porr re migrant worker welfare in Qatar during the Covid-19 outbreak

Author: Porr

 Porr sent a generic statement about their approach but did not respond to our questions. Their statement affirmed that they are following all local government guidance to protect their employees in Qatar, UAE and all other countries where they have operations. Their contribution is not counted as a survey response.

Download the full document here