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Qatar Crisis: Workers Hit Hard by Rising Food Prices and Job Insecurity

In the midst of the ongoing crisis...the ones first and most critically affected are the already marginalised migrant workers...During a recent visit to Qatar, Migrant-Rights.org assessed how the blockade’s ground realities affect lower-income migrant workers. The top three concerns that emerge are:

Forced Leave: Several migrant workers, across sectors and economic strata, have been asked to go on extended unpaid leave...

Job Loss: Workers in the construction sector, mainly those employed by supply companies, have been given two to four weeks to find alternative jobs or leave the country...[T]he problem will become more severe when the current supply of construction material runs out. Companies are preparing by putting relationships with manpower supply companies on hold. The workers most affected now are subcontracted workers...Large construction projects depend heavily on subcontractors, as company responses to Business and Human Rights Resource Centre surveys reveal...While these large companies may comply with prevailing standards, subcontractors, especially those several rungs down the supply chain, often work in a grey area....

Food: On average, there has been a 10 to 15%  increase in food prices...it is taking a toll on lower-income expatriates. Cafeterias near labour accommodation have only increased their prices by a riyal or two per meal...A different kind of impact is felt in accommodations where food is provided...

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