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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Video from ITUC on two Nepalis leaving Qatar

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Here’s a video posted by the International Trade Union Confederation of two Nepalis who have returned to their homes after souring on working in Qatar.

One, an electrician, tells the ITUC that “mostly Nepalese are despised and we’re treated like slaves.” He also recounts the death of a friend who fell from scaffolding due to a lack of safety precautions.

Another, a father of five who worked as a laborer, said his company withheld 11 months of wages from him until he paid some sort of deposit for legal purposes. He said he tried to a file a lawsuit against the company, surviving “for a month by eating only boiled potatoes,” but ultimately didn’t have the cash to pursue the case and went home.

Last week, the ITUC and Woodworkers’ International announced that they had lodged a formal complaint against Qatar with the International Labor Organization for the country’s treatment of migrant workers.

The union cited the high number of deaths in the workplace among Nepalese expats as part of its case. Nepalese workers also have the highest incidence of suicide here.

Nepal also recently set an age bar for women seeking to work in Gulf countries following widespread reports of sexual and psychological abuse, including in Qatar.

Interestingly, Qatar has just announced plans to establish an embassy in Nepal, which will open next week, the Himalayan Times reports:

Finance Controller of the Embassy Eyad Hamdan, said that Qatar-Nepal relation is harmonious and added that the government of Qatar established the Embassy to further strengthen the relations.

…Hamdan said the demand of Nepali workers is high in Qatar. According to the statistics of the Department of Foreign Employment, more than 400,000 Nepalis are working in Qatar.

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