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Amnesty Alleges that Migrant Workers in Quatar Unpaid for Months of Work on FIFA World Cup Stadium

Migrant workers employed on a construction project for a FIFA World Cup stadium in Qatar worked for up to seven months without pay, Amnesty International has revealed. Around 100 employees of Qatar Meta Coats (QMC), a design and construction company subcontracted for façade works on the €770m Al Bayt Stadium, are still waiting to be paid their full dues.

This case is the latest damning illustration of how easy it still is to exploit workers in Qatar” 


Steve Cockburn, Head Of Economic And Social Justice

This week, after Amnesty International raised the case with the Qatari authorities, FIFA, and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar’s World Cup organizing body, some employees began to receive part of what they are owed, but still have outstanding unpaid salaries.

This week, after Amnesty International raised the case with the Qatari authorities, FIFA, and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Qatar’s World Cup organizing body, some employees began to receive part of what they are owed, but still have outstanding unpaid salaries.

“Migrant workers told us about the hardship they endured having worked without pay on Al Bayt Stadium for months on end. They are worried about their families, who rely on the money they send home from Qatar to pay school fees and medical bills,” said Steve Cockburn, Head of Economic and Social Justice at Amnesty International.

“This case is the latest damning illustration of how easy it still is to exploit workers in Qatar, even when they are building one of the crown jewels of the World Cup. For years we have been urging Qatar to reform the system but clearly change has not come fast enough.

Qatar’s World Cup organizers told us they had known about the salary delays since July 2019.”

Steve Cockburn

“Although recent payments will provide some welcome relief for workers, Qatar’s World Cup organizers told us they had known about the salary delays since July 2019. This raises the question of why Qatar allowed workers to continue working for months without pay. It shouldn’t take an Amnesty investigation for workers to be paid what they are owed.”

In a briefing Amnesty International also documents how QMC has failed to renew employees’ residence permits, putting them at risk of detention and deportation. Most are currently waiting out the COVID-19 lockdown in cramped accommodation in Doha, where QMC is still providing their meals.

Amnesty International continues to stand with all QMC workers to demand Qatar and its World Cup partners pay them every penny they are owed. They should also ensure they have valid legal documents and are reimbursed any fees they paid to secure their jobs in QMC. All these actors need to act swiftly to stop abuse when it is uncovered and provide remedy quickly.

Empty Promises

Amnesty International interviewed current and former employees of QMC and reviewed court records and contracts. The workers said salary delays had affected all employees working on Al Bayt, estimating this to be around 100 migrant workers from Ghana, Kenya, Nepal and the Philippines, among others.

Delays began in early 2019 and the situation further deteriorated into 2020. Many employees received no salary at all for their work between September 2019 and the end of March 2020, though some salaries stopped as early as August. QMC repeatedly assured workers their money was coming but never fully delivered on their promises.

Struggle for justice

In January 2020, fed up with the company’s repeated promises, some workers submitted complaints to Qatar’s Labour tribunals. During mediation sessions QMC representatives agreed to settle some claims but didn’t follow through. Other employees were told by the company they would be paid only if they agreed to end their contracts early and go home.

The company has so much advantage over workers that you regret going to the court…workers are suffering because the companies rule in”

Qatar Kiran*, QMC Employee

Several employees said they were stopped from coming to work, apparently in retaliation for going to the courts or for refusing to end their contracts early.

One worker, Kiran* (name changed to protect his identity) said: “The company has so much advantage over workers that you regret going to the court. Whatever the company decides to do Qatar favours them. Workers are suffering because the companies rule.”

By the end of February 2020 QMC had pulled all remaining employees off the stadium and asked them to report to its factory, which manufactures and finishes materials including aluminium and steel, apparently for use in Al Bayt Stadium. They continued to work there without pay until 22 March, when it closed due to the pandemic.

After Amnesty International exchanged detailed correspondence with the Supreme Committee and other key actors who have known of the persistent abuse for nearly a year, the Supreme Committee informed Amnesty that workers would start to be paid imminently. Indeed, on 7 June, workers confirmed to Amnesty that some of them had received part of what they are owed. However, workers confirmed that not everyone had received a payment, while even those that did have not been paid the full amounts.

Denied documentation

The workers’ situation is made worse by the fact that most now have expired residence permits because QMC has failed for months to renew them.

Under Qatar’s kafala system, migrant workers rely on their employers for almost every aspect of their legal presence in the country. Employers have a responsibility to provide them with valid residence permits, without which migrants cannot work legally in the country, will accumulate fines and could be detained or deported. They also cannot change jobs without their employers’ permission.

Recruitment fees

Like so many migrant workers who come to the Gulf, QMC workers paid large fees to get a job in Qatar, which is prohibited by Qatar’s Labour Law.

Those interviewed by researchers said they paid amounts ranging from $900 to $2,000 USD to recruitment agents in their home countries. Many had to take out loans to cover these fees and now find themselves struggling to provide for their families.

Kiran said he could not go home yet or pay his younger siblings’ school fees because he had incurred large debts coming to work for QMC in Qatar.

“The future was not looking good for me before I came to Qatar… I was unemployed and couldn’t find a job in my home country…. I am the only person taking care of my parents and siblings and I thought coming to Qatar would make things better for all of us…. But sadly, things didn’t work out as I expected.”

Responses to allegations

In written responses to Amnesty International, QMC acknowledged the payment delays due to financial difficulties and said it was trying to resolve them.

The Supreme Committee told Amnesty that it first learned of QMC’s payment problems in July 2019 during audit interviews with workers, and had since taken various measures to try to remedy the abuse, including meeting the company’s management, blacklisting it from future contracts and informing the Ministry of Labour.

If FIFA had held its World Cup partners to account, we wouldn’t be hearing the same tales of workers’ suffering with only two and half years until kick-off”

Steve Cockburn

FIFA said that it contacted the Supreme Committee once it became aware of the case following Amnesty’s investigation, and is now working with its partners in Qatar to ensure that all outstanding salaries are paid without further delay. However, it remains unclear why FIFA was unaware of abuses at Al Bayt Stadium until May 2020.

Amnesty International also wrote to the Ministry of Labour but has not received any reply to date.

FIFA must step up

The Supreme Committee’s Workers’ Welfare standards, which require companies on World Cup projects to ensure the rights of all workers are respected and abuses remedied, appear to have enabled the Supreme Committee to detect the problems at QMC quickly. However, they were unable to secure timely payment for QMC workers, indicating these standards are still inadequate to stop abuses and provide timely remedies when companies can’t pay or won’t comply.

Meanwhile, the fact that FIFA has been unaware of the plight of workers at one of its World Cup stadiums for so long shows it is still failing to take human rights abuses linked to the Qatar 2022 World Cup seriously enough.

“If, over the past 10 years, FIFA had held its World Cup partners to account, and used its clout to push Qatar to fully reform its systems, we wouldn’t be hearing the same tales of workers’ suffering with only two and half years until kick-off,” said Steve Cockburn.

Copyright © 2020 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

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India News Brief

15 August 2020

COVID-19 Cases: 2,461,190 Death Toll: 48,040

COVID-19 At a Glance 

The new guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 30 June: Schools, colleges, educational institutions, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places, and even metro services will continue to remain shut until further notice.

COVID-19: Highlights 

Religious Places Visit: No Touching of Deity, No no Sparkling of Holy Water No Prasada in Temples Wearing Mask Thermal Screening is a must 

Shopping Malls Visit: Elderly People With 65 Years of Age and Children Below 10 Years Are Advised to Stay at Home.

Restaurant and food courts in malls to operate at 50 per cent seating capacity with a mandatory distance of six feet between tables. No common prayer mats, physical offerings like prasad, or sprinkling of holy water, in places of worship. Age and health-based restrictions on stepping out of home. Masks to be mandatory, and the Aarogya Setu app 'recommended' for all.

Use of masks, thermal screening, social distancing and sanitisation, the guidelines  require people above 65 years of age, specially  people with comorbidities, pregnant woman, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home. Masks are mandatory at all times, including inside restaurants

Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Indian Health Ministry 

  • International air travel, Metro rail services not allowed 

Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations will not allowed..

According to MHA guidelines, in Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.

There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movement

But  states have the freedom to decide on public movement.

How to identify Fake News or Messeges on Social Media 

Beware of Fake News and Fake Messages on Social Media

Always follow websites or social media platforms of traditional media outlets whether newspapers, magazines,Television News Channels or Radio Stations and authentic online only media outlets.They still maintain journalism excellence and stress on reportorial talent.On the other hand, fake news websites run by people with non journalism background and promote their own ideology with fake news and disinformations and obviously conspiracy theories.

But unfortunately mainstream media also manipulates news to establish their story angle.There were various instances when News papers and TV Channels promoted fake news/conspiracy theories in the form of out of context or manipulated pictures/videos and distorted informations.

Always check the URL of any website.Some fake news websites look like the orginal and popular one the same layout,Logo but if you check the URL you may find extra words like if the orginal website's URL is www.xxx.com the duplicate one might be www.xxx.com.co or something like that so first check the URL for authentic informations.

Check whether photos are original or photoshopped.Check Google images for authenticity.You can find help from Google Reverse Images search.

Check the news sources from other websites whether they picked up the story or not.

Whether the website layout is little bit clumsy and obviously grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes and excessive use of Sex related and sensational and hate stories.Because sex and hate sells.

Follow official websites relating to COVID-19

WHO Clarifies the disinformation about the virus:
COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates
Cold Weather and Snow can not kill the new coronavirus
Taking a Hot Bath Does Not Prevent COVID-19
COVID-19 Can not be transmitted through mosquito bites

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill viruses that have already entered your body. Spraying such substances can be harmful to clothes or mucous membranes (i.e. eyes, mouth)

According to World Health Organization (WHO): Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth . If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.

If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition

Follow WHO guidelines

www.who.int

When you follow COVID-19 related news and messages from social media then check and recheck it before consuming it.Follow journalism mantra: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Most of the messages or informations quote different organizations like WHO, UNICEF, UNDP,Cambridge University  or other well known institutes,organizations or individual to authenticate the messeges.Check official websites of these organizations  if stories are repeated there

Forwarding messages from unknown sources or little known sources, it would be better to ignore it.

Check whether any logo like UNICEF or WHO or other organizations used in the messages which look similar to original logo.

These type of messages are full of Grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes which are quite uncommon in original messages.

Don't rely on viral social media messages such as Coronavirus Infected Indian Currencies of Rs.500 and Rs.2,000 Notes Found, Muslim Man Spit in Food At Indian Restaurant.....Always Check Authentic Sources.

Some fake messages pretend to be real one like unofficial Twitter handle of international media organizations like BBC,CNN,Washinton Post, New York Times-check the official Twitter handles of media outlets.

You can identify fake messages if the message requests you to share it.

Beware of Fake News or Fake Photos/Videos Relating to Communal Hatred

Always check the fact checking sites if you have some doubts about the authenticity of any information or picture.

www.boomlive.in

www.altnews.in

https://check4spam.com

https://smhoaxslayer.com

www.factchecker.in

www.allsides.com

www.factcheck.org

www.newsbusters.org

www.politifact.com

www.snopes.com

www.propublica.org

The Same Method Applies to You Tube Videos Check the Source the credibility of the Source.To Check Fake You Tube Videos Check and Recheck the sources. Does the person have the legal right to the video posted? Did that person capture the video? Whether it has been altered?

But due to advancement of technology we can not really wipe out fake news.According to experts advent of  Artificial Intelligence(AI) some companies small or big one developing  technologies that can  lay digitally created script to anybody's voice  even words,sentences never said by the person.Even they are developing a technology which can create fake video footage,images,audios like originals.So be cautious! Rumour-mongers are active everywhere whether in physical world or cyber world.

For any further information relating to fake news and how-to search authentic informations from the internet write to us info@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whats App:+919073399779

COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Theories:
https://fsi.stanford.edu/news/china-covid19

 

 

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