Qatar Campus Witnesses Outrage over Migrant Worker Conditions

Ian Almond had mentioned the heart-wrenching story of the migrant workers in the Qatari campus of Georgetown in a letter to Provost Robert Groves. Around one hundred and twenty-two workers work in the campus and perform a wide variety of tasks ranging from dining to facilities to office management. Almond describes the pitiable condition in his letter which he had posted on Facebook.

Almond described that the workers were paid between $250 and $400 and they live in cramped houses. The workers have to share their room with at least four people which sometime goes up to eight to accommodate everyone. Almond states that the situation is intolerable and it greatly undermines the prestige of Georgetown.

The Campus was opened in Georgetown in 2005 and the university is housed in the Educational City. The formation of the Educational City was made by an initiative taken up by the Qatar Foundation, an organization which was founded and looked after by the members of the Qatari royal family.

Qatar had always earned the bad reputation for mistreating the migrant workers belonging to India, Philippines, Nepal and other Asian countries. Qatar is gearing up to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 and hence the migrant workers are extremely important to the country. The workers who are engaged with the world cup preparations had to pay recruitment fees, had to work for long hours, have their passports confiscated and are not provided with healthy and safe living conditions.

The workers are not covered under the University’s Just Employment Policy and hence the workers are denied the rights to a fair package and right to work in a healthy and safe environment. After numerous student protests and hunger strikes, the Employment policy ensures a total compensation of $16.77 per hour to the workers.

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