imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Modern Day Slavery in Qatar

by Stephen Lendman Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 at 11:44 PM
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net

Qatar

Modern Day Slavery in Qatar

by Stephen Lendman

Qatar is one of six Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG). The others in alphabetical order include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A previous article discussed appalling migrant worker conditions in Qatar. It has one of the worst human and civil rights records.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani rules despotically. Democratic rights are verboten. Torture and other forms of repression are commonplace.

So is brutal worker exploitation. Foreign nationals suffer most. They endure conditions of modern day slavery.

A new Amnesty International (AI) report is titled "The Dark Side of Migration: Spotlight on Qatar's construction sector ahead of the World Cup." More on it below.

On November 15, Bloomberg headlined "Soccer Is Just Another Word for Slavery in Qatar."



The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) chose Qatar as its 2022 World Cup games host country. It was an embarrassing choice.

"…(M)igrant laborers aren't the only ones trapped" there, said Bloomberg. Frantic preparations continue for what "never should have been awarded in the first place."

Zahir Belounis is a French soccer player. For over a year, he's been trying to escape from Qatar. Its repressive labor laws prevent him.

"When you take a job in Qatar, you effectively surrender your passport to your employer."

It's called kafala. It's a sponsorship system. Migrant workers must obtain it. It commits them to bondage. They can't enter Qatar, leave, or change jobs without permission. It's modern day slavery.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) defines forced labor as "all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which said person has not offered himself voluntarily."

Qatar violates international norms. "(M)any of the abuses that take place which can lead to forced labor are still happening," said the ILO.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) warned that at least 4,000 workers would die between now and the first World Cup 2022 soccer match if Qatar didn't change its working practices.

"Whether you're a Nepalese construction worker, a Filipino nanny or a professional French soccer player, you're stuck until your 'sponsor' releases you," said Bloomberg.

Belounis hasn't been paid since May 2012. He's struggling to support his family. France hasn't helped. Nor has FIFA president Sepp Blatter. He's "the Oliver Hardy of" world soccer, said Bloomberg.

In an emotional letter to soccer legends Zinedine Zidane and Pep Guardiola, Benounis pleaded for help. "The system in Qatar is killing me," he said.

"I ask you to use your influence as football ambassadors to talk about what is happening to me and what is happening to many other young men here in Qatar."

"People are being kept far from their countries because of the exit visa system. This system should not exist, and we need people like you, who love sport and its (good) image, to make our voices heard."

"I speak to you as fathers and as former footballers and I ask you, please speak up and do what you can to help me get home."

Amnesty International (AI) discussed outrageous migrant worker abuses. They're treated like cattle. What's ongoing amounts to forced labor. According to AI's secretary general Salil Shetty:

"It is simply inexcusable in one of the richest countries in the world, that so many migrant workers are being ruthlessly exploited, deprived of their pay and left struggling to survive."

"Construction companies and the Qatari authorities alike are failing migrant workers."

"Employers in Qatar have displayed an appalling disregard for the basic human rights."

"Many are taking advantage of a permissive environment and lax enforcement of labour protections to exploit construction workers."

"Fifa has a duty to send a strong public message that it will not tolerate human rights abuses on construction projects related to the World Cup."

"Turning a blind eye to any form of exploitation is unforgivable, particularly when it is destroying people's lives and livelihoods.

Qatari migrant construction workers usually work for small and medium-sized construction companies. They're subcontracted to major ones. They take full advantage of virtual forced labor.

AI published its report days after Blatter met with Sheik Al Thani. He regurgitated the lie told him. He declared Qatar "on the right track" in handling worker rights.

"What was presented to us shows that they are going forward not only today but have already started months ago with the problems with labour and workers," he added.

The labour laws will be amended and are already in the process of being amended."

Abusive practices continue. Nothing has been done so far to change things.

AI based its report on scores of interviews "with workers, employers and government officials." It documented horrendous abuses.

Dangerous working conditions persist. Wages often aren't paid. Worker accommodations are "shocking."

Air conditioning is lacking. Workers are exposed to overflowing sewage and uncovered septic tanks. Some have no running water or electricity.

Many migrants feel trapped. Employers prevent them from leaving. Debts mount. They can't support their families. They suffer "severe psychological stress." Some consider suicide. At least one manager called workers "animals."

They're worked up to 12 hours a day seven days a week. They do it in scorching summer heat. Qatar's labor laws stipulate a maximum 10-hour day. They say no one should work in summer heat from 11:30AM to 3PM.

In recent months, dozens of Nepalese workers died. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) believes about 12 will die weekly unless abusive practices stop.

Between now and 2022, it thinks at least 4,000 will perish. It bases its estimate on current Nepalese and Indian construction worker mortality figures.

The combination of dangerous working conditions and cramped/squalid/unsanitary living quarters bears full responsibility.

Workers arrive healthy. Many become ill. A shocking number die. On-the-job accidents claim many. Appalling living conditions, inadequate food and water take more.

ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow said:

"Nothing of any substance is being done by the Qatar authorities on this issue."

"The evidence-based assessment of the mortality rate of migrant workers in Qatar shows that at least one worker on average per day is dying."

"In the absence of real measures to tackle that and an increase in 50% of the migrant workforce, there will be a concomitant increase in deaths."

"We are absolutely convinced they are dying because of conditions of work and life. There are harrowing testimonies from the workers in the system there."

Around 1.2 million migrants now work in Qatar. ITUC estimates around another million will be enlisted to complete work by 2022.

"Fifa needs to send a very strong and clear message to Qatar that it will not allow the World Cup to be delivered on the back of a system of modern slavery that is the reality for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers there today," added Burrow.

Qatar's kafala system "permits abuse and traps workers," said AI. Doha's main hospital spokesperson said over 1,000 workers were admitted to its trauma unit in 2012.

About 10% were disabled. Some died. AI documented shocking government disregard for migrant worker rights.

They arrive "full of hopes," said AI. They're dashed straightaway. "Please tell me - is there any way to get out of here? We are going totally mad," one Nepalese worker told AI.

He's being worked to death. He hadn't been paid for months. He's prevented from leaving. Other migrants endure the same harshness.

In 2011, AI reported on "False Promises: Exploitation and forced labour of Nepalese migrant workers." It found similar abusive practices in all Gulf States. Modern day slavery thrives.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy