The gulf region is currently receiving some of the largest numbers of non- forced migrant workers in the world. 1.4 million migrant workers are employed in Qatar. UAE has 146,000 migrant domestic workers alone. With that huge movement of people; all seeking a means of earning a living, issues surrounding the rights of workers and legal responsibility of host nations has been brought into sharp focus.
The 2014 Global Slavery Index report reveals Qatar to have the fourth highest concentration of slaves relative to its population, behind Haiti and Uzbekistan. It is difficult to ignore the increasing media reports in recent months on failures to uphold the rights of workers employed to build the stadiums and tourist attractions in Qatar for the 2022 world cup, as well as the recent expose on treatment of migrant domestic workers in the UAE. The traditional practice of kafala (which supersedes labour laws) effectively licenses abuse of employees by bonding them to their employer, restricting their ability to exercise rights or seek alternative employment within the country.