By The Numbers (January 2016 - March 2023)
This tracker will be updated on a monthly basis and informs the statistics on the Migrants in the Gulf project page. Cases included date from January 2016. If you would like more information on reading and accessing the data or would like to submit a case to the tracker, please contact us.
Have been publicly reported regarding migrant worker abuse by companies since 2016
Impacted in the documented cases
Migrant workers most commonly report withheld, delayed or non-payment of wages (526 cases)
Denial of Freedoms
Withholding passports, non-renewal of visas & preventing protests or strikes all threaten workers' fundamental freedoms (332 cases)
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries rely heavily on migrant labour. There are an estimated 20 million migrant workers in the Gulf; they account for 10% migrants globally and up to 90% of the manual labour force in the Gulf. Despite making significant contributions to the economic development of their host countries and to remittance outflows to their home countries, migrant workers face abuse, discrimination and exploitation by unscrupulous employers, as well as significant obstacles to access justice and remedy.
The Tracker analyses publicly-reported allegations against eight broad categories of abuse, encompassing 20 indicators. The data is currently downloadable at the level of the eight categories, along with an explanation of our methodology.
Whenever possible we approach named companies to invite them to respond to allegations against them. Read more about the numerous challenges we face in identifying and contacting companies regarding cases of labour abuse committed in the Gulf.
As Dubai prepares for the EXPO, how are workers in the UAE impacted by labour abuse?
On 1 October the Dubai EXPO, a six-month international fair which expects to welcome 25 million visitors, will open in the United Arab Emirates. Our data shows migrant workers across the country continue to suffer severe and frequent labour abuse.