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South Asian migrants seek justice as wage theft worsens in pandemic

The Japan Times, United Arab Emirates, 10 September 2020 - Nizar Kochery has been fighting for migrant workers’ rights in the courts for decades, but he has never felt so overwhelmed.

As the coronavirus pandemic forced tens of thousands of South Asian migrants to leave the Gulf countries where they worked, the Doha-based lawyer was flooded with calls about unpaid wages and job losses.

“Nonpayment of wages or benefits has always plagued migrant workers in Gulf countries,” said Kochery, who specializes in labor law and advises many embassies in Qatar.

“But during COVID, the impact is being felt 100 times more. People left in fear, in a hurry, and most did not have time to collect pending wages or benefits as they boarded special flights to return home. Now they are counting their losses.”

South Asians have for years traveled to wealthier Gulf countries for employment, mostly as domestic workers or in the construction and hospitality sectors.

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Source: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/09/10/asia-pacific/south-asian-migrants-wage-theft-pandemic/

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