Qatar is an oil-rich nation situated on the northwest coast of the Arabian Peninsula, but its real wealth lies in the people who call it home. Despite having a population of only 2.6 million, 90% of whom are foreign nationals, Qatar relies heavily on their hard work and dedication to make the country run.
Foreigners have become integral to nearly every sector of Qatar’s economy, from services to construction and beyond. Even though they constitute such a large portion of the population, they tend not to be treated with much respect by employers or authorities; they enjoy few rights under existing labor laws and often suffer exploitation at the hands of their bosses.
Fortunately, due to increasing international pressure Qatar has begun to reform its labor laws in recent years, allowing for improved basic rights for foreign workers. These changes have been welcomed by many in Qatar’s expatriate population, although there remains much to be done before these reforms yield tangible results that can be felt by workers across the country.
The stories of Qatar’s exploited foreign workforce are explored in detail in a new documentary by Al Jazeera entitled “Reform or Exploit: The Foreign Workers of Qatar”. Through interviews with both local labor activists and migrant workers themselves, this thought-provoking piece paints a vivid picture of life for those living and working on the Arabian Peninsula while exploring potential ways forward. By shining a light on this oft-forgotten community, viewers gain insight into a world that is all too often taken for granted – one that needs immediate attention if we are to bring about meaningful change and ensure safety and fairness for all within Qatar’s borders.
If you would like to learn more about what life is really like for migrant workers in Qatar – from their legal rights and struggles against exploitation to their hopes and aspirations – then please consider watching “Reform or Exploit: The Foreign Workers of Qatar”. This powerful documentary provides an invaluable window into a little-known corner of society – one that deserves our attention as we strive towards solutions that benefit everyone involved.