Migrant workers in Middle east denied rights: ICFTU
The report on labour rights violations around the world in 2005 has singled out the plight of migrant workers in middle east.Updated: Jun 07, 2006 08:56 IST
Migrant workers, mainly from South Asia, make up the majority of the workforce in parts of the Middle East, yet enjoy 'few or even no rights,' a report by an international union group has said.
The report on labour rights violations around the world in 2005 has singled out the plight of migrant workers in the region for particular attention, according to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).
"In some sectors they make up 80 per cent of the workforce, yet they are often denied a passport, blackmailed, and prevented from joining unions," Kurt Vannieuwenhuyse, head of union rights at the ICFTU, said on Tuesday.
From Kuwait, the report cited the example of 60 Indian workers who were expelled from the country "for protesting against miserable conditions and against payment delays."
It says migrant workers are 'shamefully exploited in a number of countries,' especially in Libya and Jordan, where unions are either entirely forbidden or subject to severe legal constraints.
In Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, "they make up the bulk of the workforce but are weak, vulnerable, mistreated and enjoy few or even no rights," the report continues.
In Jordan, "foreign workers cannot join a union, negotiate collectively or strike," the report notes.
Foreign workers in the United Arab Emirates have staged numerous strikes to protest against ill-treatment and non-payment of their salaries.
There is one bright spot, though, in Qatar, which has drawn up new labour legislation that allows free trade unions, "though it has a number of flaws," the report said.
First Published: Jun 07, 2006 08:56 IST