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2014 (Narrative Date)

There are an estimated 4,000 people living in modern slavery in Qatar (GSI 2018). Qatar is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labour and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and other countries voluntarily migrate to Qatar as unskilled laborers and domestic workers, often paying illegal and exorbitant fees to unscrupulous recruiters in the labour-sending countries, thereby increasing their vulnerability to debt bondage. Some workers subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude, to include restricted movement, payment withholding, passport confiscation, exit permit retention, and threats of deportation or abuse. Individuals in Qatar sell visas to migrants and occasionally demand regular payments, enabling migrant workers to work illegally and without legal recourse against their respective sponsors, although reportedly this trend is on the decline.

RM travelled from the Philippines to work in a household in Qatar. Her employers refused to pay her directly, instead saying that they would transfer money to her family. When the money arrived, it was considerably less than she was promised.

In January [2013] I worked for the full month and on 9 February I asked for my January salary. [My employer] would not say why he was not giving me it. He said the salary is only 800 riyals [US$220]. I asked him once, ‘Sir, can I get my salary because children need money for school as in March the children graduate’. I asked him again for the salary - he said, 'Give me the name and address in the Philippines so I can send the salary'. In February he sent the money to my family but gave me just a paper with the reference number. My family says it was 5900 pesos [US$136].


I did not have my own room. I slept in a cabinet room inside the kitchen. The room had madam’s clothes in it. I had my own bed but there was no lock on the door. I was scared of the driver because my room is not locked. Madam would come into the room sometimes, even Sir did too. Sometimes he would come in at midnight or 01:00 at night and would enter my room.


They would not allow me to go out of the house – if I needed something I would have to write down what it was and give the money and they would buy it for me.

Narrative provided by Amnesty International