Qatar: Government failure to ensure unpaid wages

Qatari authorities have failed to give a review to hundreds of migrant workers who are awaiting months of unpaid wages at two companies in the country, despite repeatedly being reported to the authorities, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday.

The Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund, which the public authority set up in 2018 explicitly to guarantee that laborers are paid their wages when organizations neglect to pay, has not been used to profit these migrant laborers in the two organizations.

“It is disheartening that hundreds of workers are struggling to obtain their unpaid wages even though the Qatari government has been made aware of these abuses over and over again,” said Maham Javaid, Middle East fellow at Human Rights Watch. “The Qatari government’s failure to ensure that workers are paid underlines the disappointing gap between Qatar’s promises of reform and reality.”

On September 28, 2020, HRW informed the government earlier this year that two companies in the country were systematically underpaying employees.
This wage abuse continues even though workers started submitting complaints to various government authorities starting in June. The workers have yet to hear back from the government.

In response to allegations from Human Rights Watch, the Government Communications Office said that “the company has been placed on the Labor Ministry’s list of banned companies, legal proceedings against the company have been launched, and strict penalties have been imposed on the company.”
However, the laborers, a significant number of whom report living and working in desperate conditions, have still not got the wages they are owed.

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