City of Men: Migrant workers in Qatar
83 images Created 24 May 2015
Qatar is a city of men. At least that's how it feels in much of the small Gulf nation. Of Qatar's more than two million residents, only a fraction are Qatari citizens. The majority are male laborers from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines, and other countries with weaker economies than oil-rich Qatar. With sweltering temperatures for much of the year, and cities built for cars and not pedestrians, laborers are often the only people in the street. They leave their families behind to come build skyscrapers, drive taxis, or clean streets in the capital Doha for $100-250/month. It's common for a worker to spend years in Qatar without seeing their families because they're unable to return to their native countries either because they can't afford to or because their employers won't allow them. Global rights groups have criticized Qatar's lack of worker rights, including a sponsorship system that leaves laborers vulnerable to exploitation at the hands of their employers. Hundreds of workers die each year as a result of unsafe working conditions. Qatari authorities have said they will improve conditions, but as the country continues to grow, especially in the run up to the 2022 World Cup that will be hosted there, rights groups are worried that the condition for workers will deteriorate.