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Construction industry failing to tackle abuse of migrant workers in the Gulf, claims report

Author: Gordon Miller, Building4Change, Published on: 6 December 2016

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) invited 100 construction companies operating in Qatar and the UAE for a response on the measures they are taking to stop exploitation of migrant workers. Only 22 responded...The analysed company responses are publicly available an online database searchable in English and Arabic.

Annabel Short, Deputy Director at BHRRC, said: “Global inequality is on display in the construction of multi-million dollar high-rises and stadiums by migrant workers who find themselves trapped in debt and sometimes unpaid for their labour. As the employer of 7% of the world’s workforce, it is time that the construction industry ups its game.”

Mariam Bhacker, Project Manager at BHRRC, said: “The regional variation in company responses demonstrates an urgent need to strengthen the competitive advantage for construction firms to uphold the rights of migrant workers. Mandatory transparency legislation in the UK introduced through the Modern Slavery Act and independent scrutiny from media and civil society have provided impetus for some companies to act, but more needs to be done. Governments, clients and investors must reward firms that take a responsible and transparent approach to their employment and recruitment practices.”

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Related companies: Carillion Interserve Laing O’Rourke Multiplex Salini Impregilo SNC-Lavalin Vinci