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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