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Relatives and villagers gather around the coffin of Balkisun Mandal Khatwe, who died while working as a migrant in Qatar, Saptari, Nepal, Nov. 23, 2016 (AP photo by Niranjan Shrestha).

Qatar’s Migrant Labor Issues Are Bigger Than the World Cup

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series about workers’ rights in various countries around the world.

For several years, Qatar has come under fire for the pervasive exploitation of migrant workers, including much-maligned systems that prevent them from leaving even after they’ve been abused. Late last year, the country adopted changes to labor regulations, though rights groups contend the country has left some of the worst aspects of the old system in place. In an email interview, Vani Saraswathi, associate editor of the online advocacy platform Migrant-Rights.org and an adviser to grassroots advocacy projects in Qatar, explains the current state of workers’ rights in the country and the challenges to reforming them. ...

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