13/08/2020 Gulf migrant workers face crisis of unpaid wages amid pandemic Economy and trade Aug 10, 2020 The double blow of low oil prices and the coronavirus crisis has already pushed over half a million migrant workers out of Arab Gulf states, figures compiled by Al-Monitor show. Returned to their countries of origin in haste, migrant workers whose wages have not been paid are unable to defend their rights in the Gulf’s courts of justice. Their embassies have come under criticism for largely refusing to document grievances before repatriation. Speaking with Al-Monitor, prominent Indian politician and former diplomat Shashi Tharoor suggested Gulf states and laborexporting countries “need to evolve a robust mechanism to monitor and track these cases” to know the extent of the recurring issue. On July 25, Tharoor wrote to India’s minister for external affairs to offer constructive suggestions. “In my letter, I have advocated for the development of a single page form where our citizens leaving the country can record labor-related grievances,” Tharoor said. His move followed an appeal from a coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions to establish a transitional justice mechanism to address the “huge volume” of cases, as well as a compensation fund to "dispense compensation" to the victims of wage theft. Never miss another story Sign up for our Newsletter https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/gulf-migrant-workers-wages-covid19-qatar-uae-india-nepal.html 3/12

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