Executive Summary of Justice for Wage Theft Series, Volume 1
“Crying Out for Justice: Wage Theft Against Migrant Workers during COVID-19”


The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted millions of migrant workers in destination
countries, many of whom have experienced job loss or non-payment of wages, been forced by
employers to take unpaid leave or reduced wages, been confined in poor living conditions, and
with little or no engagement in the work options before them.
A large coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions launched an appeal on 1st June
2020 to governments to establish an “Urgent Justice Mechanism” that addresses the plight of
millions of migrant workers whose wages have been unjustly withheld by their employers. It was
followed by four more appeals.



There were 704 online submissions on the JWT- Uwazi platform, including 47 group cases
involving 388 individuals, as well as 316 individual cases.
MFA also received 207 cases from a survey on wage theft conducted by Solidarity Centre, Sri
Among the countries of destination, Saudi Arabia has registered the highest number of cases of
wage theft at 292 cases, accounting for approximately 41.5 percent of the total cases.
It was followed by 129 cases registered from Bahrain, 66 from Kuwait and 63 cases from Qatar.
52 cases were reported from Malaysia, 45 cases were registered from UAE and Oman has
registered 20 cases of wage theft.
Other countries of destination with cases registered include China (8), Singapore (5), South Korea
(9), Jordan (2), Lebanon (2).
Counting by countries of origins, Nepali workers formed the biggest group with 372 cases,
followed by 146 cases from Indian workers. Other cases were from the Philippines (73),
Bangladesh (67), Indonesia (44) and Pakistan (2).

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