Posted on 06/26/2007

Photo taken on May 10, 2007


new world slavery
poor pay
forsaken people
poor conditions
middle east
bonded workers

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Construction work. Doha Style. The work is hard and it is hot. Was 40 degrees when this picture was taken - but they work in temperatures up to 50 degrees! According to the Arabic Daily - 'al-Raya" - via, the rates of pay for various positions in Qatar are as follows:

* Labor foreman, salary 800 Riyals (approx US$220), working hours 5am to 5pm.
* Builder, salary 700 Riyals (approx US$190), working hours 6am to 6pm. No off day.
* Builder, salary 700 Riyals, working hours 6am to 4-5pm.
* Road builder, salary 500 Riyals (approx US$137) , 11 working hours a day. No off day.
* Road building foreman, salary 800 Riyals (approx US$220) includes 4 overtime hours/day at 4 Riyals/hour. 2 off days a month.

The workers do not have to pay for transport or accommodation as they live in Labour Camps (official term) with sometimes as little as a 2m x 1m space to sleep. They are transported to and from work in an un-airconditioned bus. They are bonded to a 2 year contract with no vacation and won't see their families and loved ones for at least that time. Many die in Qatar and there is unreported rape and murder swept under the carpet.

They work in Qatar as they are earning a higher wage than they would at home (and send most of it back to their families) - however given that the GDP per capita of Qatar has topped US$62,000, the least that the Labour Hire companies can do is provide better living conditions and pay. The government recently legislated that no more than 4 people can share a bedroom in a Labour Camp, however this is being flouted and the government needs to do more. When the foreign governments of these worker's homelands complain - the common response is 'We'll find our workers elsewhere then'.

For more information on social problems in Qatar visit However if you are in Qatar - this site is blocked by the QTel censors.