Forced Labour And Trafficking For Exploitation Of Expats With Jobs In Qatar

On 22 Nov 2021

Forced Labour And Trafficking For Exploitation Of Expats With Jobs In Qatar

What is forced labour and human trafficking? And, how are these crimes addressed in Qatari law? 

The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT), the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Project Office for the State of Qatar issued some guidelines in a form of a handbook to serve as your guide for understanding and identifying these crimes and the national strategy to combat them.

Here’s how Qatar works on its fight against forced labour and trafficking for labour exploitation in Qatar:

1. What is forced labour and trafficking for labour exploitation?

Imagine a spectrum of employer-worker relationships. ‘Decent work’ is on one end, and as we move away from decent work on the spectrum, the severity of the rights violations increases. 

There is a point when violations of the labour law crosses over into a criminal offense: forced labour or trafficking for labour exploitation. Men and women in forced labour are deprived not only of their dignity, but of their freedom.

Poor working conditions alone does not constitute forced labour nor trafficking for labour exploitation. For poor working conditions to qualify as forced labour (or trafficking for labour exploitation), forms of coercion or deception need to be used to retain a worker. In practice, determining when exploitative practices can be considered forced labour and trafficking is often not straightforward. 

The concepts of forced labour and trafficking for labour exploitation are similar and overlap significantly; yet they are not identical. While forced labour is about the end result (i.e. a person trapped in labour exploitation), trafficking is a process that involves the ‘handling’ or treatment of a person through some form of manipulation,for the purpose of exploitation.

To keep yourself safe from forced labour and exploitation, process your job application with a reliable manpower company in Qatar like B2C Solutions.

Forced labour and trafficking for labour exploitation are defined in international law.

Forced labour is “all work or service that is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.”

The ‘menace of any penalty’ are the means to compel someone to work against their will. It includes various forms of direct or indirect coercion, such as withholding wages or other promised benefits, threatening to report a worker to the authorities, or an actual or credible threat of violence against a worker. The threat must be understood from the point of view of the worker. For instance, migrant workers who have recently arrived in the country and do not speak the language may be more easily led to believe that they will be deported if they complain to the authorities about their conditions of work.

When you are looking for jobs in Qatar, make sure you select the best recruitment company in Doha that is following the legal process in recruiting staff.

Human trafficking “shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, or the removal of organs.”

A person is guilty of human trafficking if he or she knowingly participates in the process of exploiting someone (including, for example, in their recruitment or harbouring), through deception or force.

2. How are these crimes addressed in Qatari Law?

Workers in Qatar are protected by the Labour Law (No. 14 of 2004) and by the Domestic Workers Law (No. 15 of 2017).

In addition, articles 318-322 of the Penal Code (Law No. 11 of 2004) refers to crimes related to freedom and security of individuals. The term “forced labour” is not defined, but penalties are set out for:

• “Whoever unlawfully, kidnaps or abducts, takes, or holds, detains, or arrests or deprives any person of their freedom…” (Art. 318);

• “Whoever brings into or takes out of Qatar a person as a slave, or buys, sells, or donates a person as a slave …” (Art. 321);

• “Whoever forcibly takes somebody to work with or without salary…” (Art. 322)

Moreover, human trafficking is defined in Article 2 of the Law on Combatting Human Trafficking (No. 15 of 2011), and is nearly identical to that in the international protocol:

“Whoever deals in a coercive or transactional way with a natural person, including the use, transport, delivery, harbouring, reception or receipt, whether within the state territory or across its national borders; by means of force, violence, or threat thereof; or through abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power, or exploitation of a position of vulnerability or need; or through a promise to give or receive payments or benefits in exchange for obtaining the consent of a person to traffic another person; if the purpose of the transactions was exploitation in whatever form, including: exploitation in acts of prostitution and all forms of sexual exploitation, exploitation of children in such acts and in pornography, begging, forced labour or the forced rendering of services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of human organs, tissues or body parts; shall be committing the crime of human trafficking.”

For more guidelines about Recruitment in Qatar and the Qatar Labour Law, visit the official website of B2C and contact its professional team of recruiters today.


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