Workers in Doha, Qatar (Giuseppemasci/Dreamstime)

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Amnesty International warns of Coronavirus outbreak in Qatar labour camps

24 March 2020 | By GCR Staff | 0 Comments

Human rights organisation Amnesty International has warned of the dangers of a lockdown in migrant worker labour camps in Qatar.

Amnesty’s comments are based on reports of a Covid-19 outbreak in a number of construction camps, leading to workers being quarantined in their quarters.

Steve Cockburn, Amnesty’s deputy director of global issues, said: “Labour accommodation camps are notoriously overcrowded, and lack adequate water and sanitation, meaning workers are inevitably less able to protect themselves from the virus. Workers’ proximity to one another in cramped camps also does not allow for any type of social distancing.   

“The Qatari government must ensure that human rights remain central to all attempts at prevention and containment of the Covid-19 virus, and also that all people have access to healthcare, including preventive care and treatment for everyone affected, without discrimination.”

Amnesty aims to prevent further marginalisation of migrant workers during the pandemic, and asks for those stationed in Qatar to be able to access healthcare and sick pay.

The organisation has repeatedly called on Qatar to improve human rights for foreign workers before the 2022 World Cup. Qatar has pledged to abolish its kafala system and exit visas.

Image: Workers in Doha, Qatar (Giuseppemasci/Dreamstime)