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Allegations of Labour Abuse Against Gulf Migrant Workers

The Allegations Tracker records publicly reported cases of human and labour rights abuse committed by businesses against migrant workers in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

These numbers are based on publicly reported allegations of labour rights abuse against migrant workers in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE), in which businesses are implicated. The actual numbers of incidents of abuse and affected migrant workers are believed to be higher.

By The Numbers (Jan 2016 - August 2021)

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.

497

Allegations

Have been publicly reported regarding migrant worker abuse by companies since 2016

132k

Workers

Impacted in the documented cases

72%

Wage Delays

Migrant workers most commonly report withheld, delayed or non-payment of wages

41%

Denial of Freedoms

Withholding passports, non-renewal of visas & preventing protests or strikes all threaten workers' fundamental freedoms

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.

Find Out More

Launch Analysis

To mark 2019 International Migrants Day, we analysed all allegations tracked from Jan 2016 to Nov 2019.

Download Data

Download and view all allegations and our analysis of the labour abuse.

Methodology

How do we reach our numbers? Take a look at our methodology.