Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights made an oral intervention on 24 June to the United Nations Human Rights Council, in which it revealed violations committed against expatriate workers and refugees in Qatar and Turkey, in the framework of the Council’s 41st session held in Geneva from 24 June to 12 July.
Maat is participating in the session with an international mission consisting of 26 members from eight European and African countries.
In the beginning, the foundation drew the attention of the Council to the serious deterioration in the situation of the human rights in Qatar and Turkey, especially with regard to the living conditions of expatriate workers and refugees who witness serious violations to the International Humanitarian Law.
The expatriate workers in Qatar suffer servitude and isolation. They are forced to work for 14 hours daily in intensely hot environment with the temperature often reaches 52 degrees Celsius.
General Manager of Maat, Ayman Okeil, asserted that the Qatari authorities practice all forms of servitude against expatriate workers. In addition, those expats live in inhuman conditions at camps located in the desert. The intervention pointed out that 1,800 expatriate workers passed away at the construction sites of Qatar’s new stadiums for FIFA World Cup 2020, noting that the lives of other 5,000 workers are at risk in the coming period.
As to the situation of refugees in Turkey, Okeil condemned their poor living conditions and the lack of adequate housing, health care, and education for their children, as well as the forced deportation of many refugees and asylum seekers, in violation to the Refugee Law.
In conclusion, Maat called for the need to intensify international efforts to ensure the human rights of expatriate workers and refugees in Qatar and Turkey.