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COVID-19 and Migrant Workers in the Gulf

COVID-19 and Migrant Workers in the Gulf

Date and time: April 29, 3 to 4 pm Doha Time

Register here.

One of the foremost challenges following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Gulf region is the situation of key migrant workers. Many already live and work in environments not conducive to physical distancing. Meanwhile, the remittance process has become complicated due to lockdowns in both the sending and receiving states.

In response to these issues, government ministries have set up hotlines for workers to report workplace and accommodation violations, as well as guidelines to ensure optimal employer-contractor relations during the pandemic. However, media and NGO reports continue to voice concern and criticism regarding the plight of migrant workers in the Gulf. Questions abound surrounding the repatriation of migrant workers, as well as their accommodation conditions, employment status, and access to adequate food. It is also unclear whether the pandemic will slow down, accelerate, or completely halt labor reforms in the long-term.

The Brookings Doha Center is pleased to invite you to a webinar discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on key migrant workers in the Gulf region. The discussion will address the following questions: What role should international organizations play in advising governments on the pandemic and related labor issues? What have we learned about the interconnectedness of labor policies and public health policies? How will the pandemic change the way labor issues are addressed in the region? And what barriers continue to thwart journalists and other independent monitors trying to find and verify information about the situation on the ground for migrant workers?

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