IFRD criticizes discrimination against foreign workers in Qatar during the Corona pandemic crisis

2020/291

1/5/2020

Rome – The International Federation for Rights and Development (IFRD) today criticized the existing labor systems in the State of Qatar for foreign workers, considering them discriminatory and insufficient in meeting fundamental rights.

The Rome-based International Federation said in a press release that the Qatari authorities should review the dire living conditions and the scarcity of legal protection for foreign workers in the country.

IFRD added that the Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic crisis revealed a fragile situation that affects many foreign workers in Qatar and the rest of the Gulf countries, where they found themselves most at risk and exposed to serious health risks.

IFRD stressed that the Qatari authorities are obligated to ensure that the right of all foreign workers to health is fully protected during the Corona pandemic crisis, including the appropriate place of residence and the necessary medical care.

The International Federation called on the Qatari authorities to build on its steps taken years ago to improve the legal environment for dealing with the rights of foreign workers, including providing them with full protection and treating them with the dignity and respect they deserve.

In this regard, IFRD expressed her deep concern at reports that dozens of foreign workers have been expelled by the Qatari authorities after informing them that they will be examined for coronavirus infection, some of whom have been transferred to detention centers, and held in very poor conditions for several days, before being returned to their countries amid ill-treatment.

While the Qatari officials replied that the deported workers were residing in the country illegally, the International Federation stresses the need for Doha to adhere to the human rights guidelines regarding dealing with foreign workers during the Corona pandemic crisis and ensure that remedies and reparations are available to any worker whose rights have been violated.

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