The study aims to analyze the situation of unskilled laborers, in order to identify their problems and to make proposals to improve workers conditions. The study followed the development of presence of foreign workers, as well as analyzing labor laws, and their conformity with the Convention on International Labor and with human rights and applied a survey on random sample of 1114 workers in the construction sector. Interviews were conducted with groups of workers, and with employers.

The Qatari labor law excludes workers in households, agriculture and grazing, which needs to be reviewed and modified, with some gaps exploited by the sponsor such as requiring the transfer of sponsorship with the consent of the sponsor. The National Commission for Human Rights monitoring reports find some workers, especially in the areas of construction, drilling and concrete working under harsh and unsafe conditions, with a lack of adequate health care. 8563 workers of different nationalities had submitted complaints to the Department of Labor, with wages arrears the most important of those complaints.

The sponsorship system eliminates some of the code of labor law, such as the freedom to move to another job or to travel. Workers may remain in custody for long periods without being submitted to the court. The interviews showed that the employers see that the system may need to change, but under an appropriate mechanism to preserve employers rights.

Survey results showed low wages in the construction sector, workers from Nepal are on the lowest wages, and most of workers had borrowed to come to Qatar, low educational levels, poor living conditions, fear of losing their jobs, makes them accept the excesses. Crowding in the rooms and use of only one toilet, lack of drinking water and meals at work sites, lack of awareness about labor laws which exposes them to abuse, whether by the employment offices in their country or the employers in some cases.

The study recommends to look for alternatives to the sponsorship system. Reinforce the concepts of human rights in the relationship between the employer and workers. Improving safety conditions in the workplace.


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