How Bad Are Qatar’s Human Rights Violations?


In June 2016, a Dutch woman who was allegedly
raped in Qatar [cutter] was convicted of adultery and fined more than $800 dollars. Extramarital sex is illegal in Qatar, and
the woman had already spent months in prison for reporting her own rape. This, coupled with a number of other human
rights violations, have amassed international outcry, and led many to question whether Qatar
is eligible to host the 2022 World Cup. So, how serious are Qatar’s human rights
abuses? Since the World Cup announcement in 2010,
Qatar has garnered widespread criticism over its violations of international human rights
law, particularly regarding migrant workers. Qatar is a high income economy and, over the
last few decades, has become the most economically competitive country in the middle east, with
one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. The rapid development has produced hundreds
of thousands of labor jobs. To fill the need, Qatar heavily relies on
low-paid migrant workers, most of whom relocate voluntarily from Asia and Africa. But what begins as a consensual work opportunity
often leads to indentured servitude, as workers are unfairly paid and forced to live in “labour
camps”. According to Amnesty International, these
camps are often filthy, cramped and unsafe, with workers sleeping on bunk beds or even
on the floor. Workers are also reportedly exposed to physical
and sexual abuse and are often forced to work without food, water or breaks. Labor camps have become extremely common since
World Cup construction began. As of June 2016, nearly one-and-a-half million
people, or roughly 60 percent of Qatar’s population, live in such accommodations. What’s more, many of these migrants are
effectively trapped in Qatar as soon as they arrive. Under the country’s sponsorship law, employers
can strip workers of their passports and cancel their residence or exit permits. And should they try to escape, employers can
legally report them as “absconded”, resulting in arrest or detention. The Qatari government has even encouraged
employers to use a smartphone app to digitally report runaways to authorities. Qatar also does not enforce a minimum wage
for migrant workers, and as a result, they are reportedly paid significantly less than
they are promised, and in some cases, close to nothing. This is all under the backdrop of Qatar’s
allegedly corrupt and abusive legal system. The country’s constitution is based on Sharia
Law, a strict interpretation of the teachings of Islam. As such, harsh punishments like flogging and
stoning are legal for offences like alcohol consumption, extramarital sex and blasphemy. According to UNICEF, Qatar’s judicial system
is also deeply unjust. In some cases, a woman’s testimony is worth
half that of a man’s, and in others, it is worth nothing. Qatar has struck alarm among human rights
groups and the international community. Even the Prime Minister of India, who is dealing
with flack over his country’s own human rights violations, raised concern about Qatar’s
treatment of migrant workers during his visit to the country. The Qatari government has promised to improve
conditions, however recent reforms to the labor code have failed to adequately address
the issue. With no solutions in place, and plenty of
infrastructure to be built, these and other abuses will likely continue. CTA
And while Prime Minister Modi has voiced concerns about human rights abuses, India struggles
with severe abuses itself. So what exactly are India’s human rights
violations? Find out in this video (sound up) Thanks for
watching Seeker Daily, don’t forget to like and subscribe for new videos.

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