The pandemic has brought to the surface the condition of migrants workers across the globe.
The pandemic has brought to the surface the condition of migrants workers across the globe. Their deplorable condition is no different in Middle Eastern countries that employ migrant workers in large numbers. According to official statistics shared by the United Nations, there are more than 30 million migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
These include refugees and dependents out of which 31 percent are women itself. Many of them belong to poorer nations like Philippines, Libya, Sudan etc. According to official statistics, there are two category of workers that being employed- those that come to the Middle East without any backing and purpose, and the other which comprises workers with some bit of skill and guaranteed employment promise.
It has been confirmed that the majority of Covid-19 cases were found to be in international migrants in the Gulf nations. With economies shrinking in these rich countries, there has been a direct hit to the employment of migrants and related services.
Migrant workers suffering from the economic fallout of the pandemic "are being made destitute" in Middle East countries like 🇶🇦 Qatar—a member of the U.N. Human Rights Council—which owes its workers up to $150,000 after refusing to pay them for 7 months. https://t.co/SZ2l3o3e7U— UN Watch (@UNWatch) August 11, 2020
Many have been left to fend for themselves and don’t seem to come on the priority list of welfare as they are undocumented in many cases. Then there is the challenge of travel bans and unaffordable tickets which is preventing these migrants from going back to their native lands. As many as 25000 Lebanon workers have suffered a similar fate. Remittances remain short this year.
Running rates for years showed healthy figures for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE at $39billion, $15billion and $40billion respectively. There is a 20percent drop forecast predicted by the World Bank. For foreign workers to return home will also not be a plausible solution for countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE that depend heavily on their manpower support to run their economies. There are chances that large departures may not be encouraged after all. It has been seen that these nations refuse to employ their own for lowly paid work and tend to pick people from poorer nations. However, they refuse to be able to maintain proper health and living conditions for these foreign migrants which makes the whole employment situation a sham.