02 December 2014
Wealthy Gulf nations have agreed on measures to improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers who constitute a substantial segment, if not the majority, in a number of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states. The measures constitute a bid to fend off more far-reaching demands by human rights and trade union activists who no longer exclusively target Qatar because of its hosting of the 2022 World Cup but the region at large.
The measures agreed at a meeting of labour ministers of the GCC that groups Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, and 12 Asian labour supply nations, including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and the Philippines, came amid a recent flurry of condemnatory reports by human rights organizations and trade unions. The reports tackle the plight of domestic workers in the Gulf and human rights in the UAE. A Human Rights Watch report on migrant labour in the Emirates is scheduled for publication in January.
An estimated 15 million migrant workers of which a majority hail from Asia are employed in the Gulf.
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 03/12/2014