Qatar ‘prevents workers from taking annual leave’

UN human rights panel urged to intervene and help more than 2 million expatriate workers in the country

KUWAIT: The Gulf Association for Rights and Freedoms has sent an urgent appeal to the offices of both the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, asking them to intervene urgently regarding the grave violation, which the Qatari government is currently committing against its citizens and the approximately 2.2 million expatriate workers there, a majority of whom are from Asian countries.

According to the association’s spokesman, Mohammad Hayef, the Qatari government has enforced a ban on its citizens and expatriate workers from taking their annual leave, and canceled all leave requests which, he said, is causing a great danger to the working conditions of migrant workers. Hayef said that by preventing people from taking their annual leave, rates of serious and fatal work accidents could increase, “due to depriving workers and placing them under harsh working conditions and physical, psychological and social pressures,” he said.

He said this is especially true for workers in...