WATCH: Migrant life in Qatar
DOHA, Qatar – Qatar has one of the highest migrant populations in the world. Over 90% of the population are labor migrants from South and Southeast Asia and Africa.
For most of these migrant workers, working abroad comes with a price: hefty recruitment fees funded by loans with excessive interest rates. That's just the beginning. Once at their destination country, workers continue to face many challenges.
From labor camps far from the glitter and glam of the Doha City Center, male construction workers complain of delayed wages and maltreatment. In jails and shelters, low skilled migrant women pay the price for zina laws, which criminalize unmarried sex and pregnancy out of wedlock.
Labor rights groups say problems mainly stem from the kafala sponsorship system which governs all labor migrants. Under the kafala system, workers need their employer's permission to resign or change jobs, or leave the country.
The Qataris have introduced reforms but labor groups claim these are band-aid remedies.
Unless the kafala system is radically altered, labor abuses will continue. – Rappler.com
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