Allegations about workers' treatment in Qatar also include forced labor, confiscation of passports and lack of right to form trade unions. Qatar has one of the highest migrant worker populations in the world, with over 90 percent of the population heralding from outside the country. They primarily come from South Asia, especially Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The country hosts many domestic, as well as construction workers.
In response to the concerns, the country's ministry of labor and social affairs introduced a range of reforms on Sunday, including a ban on working outside between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the summer months, when temperatures regularly exceed 40 degrees Celsius. Employers will also be required to pay workers electronically, within seven days of the due date.
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Living conditions for workers housed by companies must also improve, with employers now required to increase the space allocated per worker to six square meters from four square meters.
"We welcome the recent scrutiny, as it helps us identify shortcomings and drive our wider progress," said Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Abdullah Saleh Mubarak Al-Khulaifi in a news release on Sunday.
"We know there is much more to do, but we are making definite progress."
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As the number of fatalities and worldwide criticism of the stadium staff's living and working conditions increased, FIFA President Joseph Blatter and the president of the ITUC, Michael Sommer, met in November and agreed that fair working conditions must be introduced promptly in Qatar.