Why Qatar Needs a Guest Worker Welfare Index
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Ambiguity and acrimony surrounding the welfare of blue-collar guest workers in Qatar will continue in the current low-information environment devoid of comprehensive and scientific data on the status of low-income laborers. Even as the state takes steps to improve guest worker living and working conditions, at present there are no systematic mechanisms in place to track any resulting progress, to identify specific domains where progress has been especially rapid or slow, or to understand differences in outcomes that may exit across sectors, companies, nationalities, or geographical regions. Only by conducting regular, objective, and nationally representative surveys can decisionmakers and observers understand the true nature and drivers of the challenges facing blue-collar workers, and assess the impact of efforts to address them. With its development of a scientific and independent Guest Worker Welfare Index, SESRI aims to contribute to a clearer and perhaps less contentious road ahead.
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