Posted by: BPSOS | March 11, 2009

Key Briefs & Reports: 100,000 Vietnamese Workers Now One Handshake Closer to Qatar?

thani-nguyenQatar’s ruler, Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, meets with the visiting prime minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung, on March 9.

March 11, 2009: Qatar, a notorious violator of guest workers’ rights, wants to recruit highly-skilled Vietnamese workers for its healthcare and construction sectors, according to the Arab state’s ruler.

Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani was also quoted on March 10 in Nhan Dan as saying that he would be visiting Vietnam later this year representing Qatar, which ranks in the abysmal Tier 3 of the US State Department’s assessments of nations’ human trafficking records.

In January 2008, the two nations reportedly signed an agreement aimed at boosting the number of Vietnamese workers in Qatar to 100,000 within three years. The latest warm diplomatic exchange may indicate that those plans are still on track, despite the global crisis that has squeezed Vietnamese labor exports.

Al Thani also told visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that his country would establish an embassy and a consulate general in Vietnam during the year.

During a meeting with Nguyen in Qatar on March 9, the Qatari ruler urged the two countries to bolster cooperation across various fields, particularly investment, finance, energy, agriculture, labor and trade.

The State Department’s Trafficking in Persons report for 2007 states that people trafficked to Qatar may face withholding of pay, confiscation of passports and travel documents, arbitrary detention, threats of legal action and deportation, false charges, and physical, mental, and sexual abuse.

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