Rights group: Gulf must increase worker protection

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2013 6:17 AM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An international rights group is urging Gulf Arab states to take additional steps to safeguard domestic workers who are often outside normal labor laws and protections.

Sunday's statement by Human Rights Watch comes amid wider attention the Gulf's vast migrant workforce, mostly from South Asia and Africa.

Riots have broken out in Saudi Arabia as authorities crack down on laborers without proper visas. In Qatar, rights groups and others have raised concerns about living and working conditions for crews building venues for the 2022 World Cup. A report on Qatar is expected Monday by Amnesty International.

Human Rights Watch appealed to the Gulf states to adopt new codes by the International Labor Organization that include limiting work hours for domestic staff and ending the practice of holding of workers' passports.