Qatar’s Ministry of Labour received more than 6,000 worker complaints in 2012, the Labour Relations Department said.
Most of the complaints were for labour rights violations including denial of end-of-service benefits to those leaving the country permanently, and delays in salary transfers.
Employers not giving air tickets to workers to visit their home countries during vacations is another frequent complaint. Some companies were found paying less to female employees compared to men, but officials said that salaries are based on the contract signed between the employer and worker.
“It is important for human rights organisations to work with the government, although they have an advisory role” said Dr Ali bin Futais Al Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee and President of the Arab Network for Human Rights Institutions.
Human rights violations in Qatar are under additional scrutiny as many international organisations are pushing the oil and gas-rich Gulf state to enforce adherence of labour rights in the run-up to FIFA 2022 World Cup.
The International Trade Union Confederation is already said to be ready to mobilise workers and football fans with the campaign 'No World Cup in Qatar without labour rights' if Qatar does not provide safe conditions for those working on construction sites.
Qatar has promised a labour reform before the event and organisers have said they will ensure contractors adhere to international labour laws at construction projects before the tournament.