Qatar: Migrant workers stranded, jobless & dependent on food aid despite govt. scheme to ensure wage payments

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Article
7 May 2020

Qatar's migrant workers beg for food as Covid-19 infections rise

Author: Pete Pattisson & Roshan Sedhai, The Guardian (UK)

Low-wage migrant workers in Qatar... say they have been forced to beg for food as the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic takes a devastating toll...

Workers... have described a mounting sense of desperation, frustration and fear... they are desperate, but unable, to return home. Some have been forced to plead for food from their employers or charities...

[Qatar is allowing] companies that have stopped operating due to coronavirus restrictions to put workers on unpaid leave or terminate their contracts. The government said food and accommodation, which is usually arranged by employers, must continue to be provided, but workers’ testimonies suggest in some cases this is not happening.

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Item
19 May 2020

Qatar is protecting migrant workers during the coronavirus epidemic

Author: Thamer Hamad Al Thani

[The Guardian article] describes isolated incidents which, though important for our government to address, do not accurately represent the experience of the vast majority of workers in Qatar...

employers are required to provide salaries, food and housing to all workers, including those unable to work because of coronavirus. Changes in salary or to unpaid leave require both worker and employer consent. If a worker’s contract ends, the employer must continue to provide food and housing, at no cost to the employee, until they can be repatriated at the employer’s expense.

The government strictly enforces these laws...

To date, 88% of complaints have been resolved, while the remaining 12% are under review.

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