Manpower Company In Qatar Helping You Identify Indicators Of Deceptive Recruitment And Trafficking

On 22 Nov 2021

Manpower Company In Qatar Helping You Identify Indicators Of Deceptive Recruitment And Trafficking

Forced labor and human trafficking are truly global phenomena. They exist in every region in the world, even in Qatar.

Modern-day slavery is thriving and anyone can fall victim for it even when you are working in  an industrialized, developing country.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), a minimum of 20.9 million people are victims of forced labor worldwide at any given time. Of these, over 2.4 million are victims of forced labor that results from human trafficking.

A growing number of these victims are migrant workers who have been trafficked for “legal” employment in factories, on farms, at construction sites, in homes, and elsewhere.

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

Ways to Eradicate Forced Labour and Trafficking

Unfortunately, it is not always clear where labour law violations stop and forced labour begins. It can be a subjective decision based on local laws and practices. It can be difficult to collect evidence to prove that the actions to exploit were deliberate and systematic.

Deceptive recruitment and coercion can however be avoided by consulting only the most reliable manpower company in Qatar.

There are many recruitment agencies in the State. But, B2C Solutions, remains at the forefront in upholding employees’ rights pursuant to Qatar Labour Law.

According to the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT), using the definition of forced labour, these two questions can help to assess whether a worker is in forced labour:

(a) Has the worker given free and informed consent to work?

(b) Is the worker free to leave the employment relationship without the threat of a penalty (loss of due wages and benefits, deportation, violence or other)?

But how can you apply this legal concept in practice?

There are 11 indicators of forced labour that serve as red flags. These indicators are used around the world to support the identification of situations that could constitute forced labour, but they are not proof as such. They should trigger further investigation by the authorities to find out the intentions behind these actions, and the consequences of them.

1. Deception

Persons subjected to forced labour are often lured with promises of decent, well paid jobs. But once they begin working, the promised conditions of work do not materialize, and workers find themselves trapped in abusive conditions. They may be made to work in a different job, for less

pay or for longer hours. In these cases, the initial consent was not informed by reality, and thus no longer constitutes consent. Had they known the reality, they would never have accepted the job offer, taken out loans or left their family.

Contract substitution and visa trading (by companies who sell work visas for jobs that only exist on paper) are forms of deception that may trap workers.

2. Debt bondage

The law in Qatar and international law says that workers should not bear the costs of recruitment. However, many workers still pay thousands of dollars in order to migrate, for which they need to take out loans with high interest rates. Debt bondage, through the manipulation of debt by unscrupulous employers or recruiting agents, affects more than half of all people in forced labour globally. Because of the debt incurred and the risk attached to losing the job, workers are not free to leave. Debt bondage bears no resemblance to taking a ‘normal’ loan from a bank with repayment on mutually agreed and acceptable terms.

3. Abuse of vulnerability

Anyone can be a victim of forced labour. However, certain workers are particularly vulnerable, including those with irregular immigration status, first-time migrants, those with low literacy levels and those who do not know their labour rights. When an employer intentionally takes advantage of a worker’s vulnerable position, for example by providing misleading information on labour legislation or not renewing their residency permit, this is an indicator of forced labour. Constantly insulting and undermining workers also constitutes a form of psychological coercion, designed to increase their sense of vulnerability.

4. Retention of personal documents

The retention of identity documents or other valuable personal possessions (such as the ATM card and return air ticket) by the employer is an element of coercion if workers are unable to access these items on demand, and if they feel that they cannot leave the job without risking losing them.

If a worker asks their employer to hold onto the passport for safekeeping, this should be documented in writing through a signed consent form. However, employers cannot ask workers to keep their passport, because it is difficult for workers to refuse. If a large number of workers in a company have signed consent forms, this could be an attempt to conceal passport confiscation.

5. Isolation

People trapped in forced labour are often isolated in closed off locations, and denied contact

with the outside world. Workers may live in the work site, or the worksite may be far from populated areas, and transportation may not be available. Equally, workers may be isolated within populated areas, by having their mobile phones confiscated to prevent them from having contact with the outside world.

6. Restriction of freedom of movement

Those in forced labour may be locked up and guarded to prevent them from leaving. Workers may also be simply not granted permission to leave the premises, which is more likely on sites where workers live and work. For instance, where a domestic worker is not allowed to leave the house on his or her day off, this represents a strong indicator of forced labour.

7. Abusive/very bad working and living conditions

People subjected to forced labour may endure living and working conditions that workers would never accept freely. They may be performing work under conditions that are degrading, difficult or dangerous (e.g. extreme heat, or without adequate protective gear), and in severe breach of the labour law. Those in forced labour may also be subjected to poor living conditions, made to live in hot, overcrowded and unhealthy conditions without any privacy, and provided food that is inadequate in terms of hygiene or nutrition.

8. Excessive overtime

People subjected to forced labour may be required to work excessive hours beyond the limits prescribed in the law. They can be denied breaks and days off, or be on-call around the clock. Working more overtime than is allowed by law under some form of threat (for example, threat of dismissal), or in order to earn at least the minimum wage, is an indicator of forced labour. Many migrants want to work overtime, but this should be voluntary, paid and within the legal limits. Moreover, working excessive hours can lead to fatigue, which is a major contributor to accidents and injuries in the workplace.

9. Withholding or non-payment of wages

Non-payment of wages does not automatically imply a forced labour situation. However, when wages are systematically and deliberately withheld as a means to compel the worker to remain, and deny him or her the opportunity to change employer, this points to forced labour.

10. Threats and intimidation

People in forced labour may be subjected to intimidation and threats to subjugate them. In addition to threats of physical violence, other threats include dismissal from employment (and subsequent repatriation), denunciation to the immigration authorities, reporting fabricated absconding or theft allegations to the police, loss of wages, and placement in worse conditions of work.

11. Violence

Violence is a punishable crime under any circumstances, and is a very strong indication of the possible existence of forced labour. Workers who are exposed to violence or the threat of violence cannot express free consent.

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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