DOHA – Qatar has recently improved the living conditions of foreign workers in the country to the level which is “possibly even near the lowest imaginable standards of human dignity”, Qatari government spokesman boasted at a press conference, which was held in the solid gold, middle-finger shaped building of the Ministry of Slave Labour and Below-Human Affairs.
Prominent examples of imporovement given at the government press conference were the abolition of sleeping on the floor (every worker is now entitled to „at least a thin rag“), reduction of the maximum number of bunks in a bunk bed to six, maximum allowed room temperature capped at 65°C, lowest allowed oxygen levels in worker accommodation set to 40 PPM and every room where workers are housed now having its own bucket, increasing the average workers to not-really-toilet ratio to an unprecedented 34:1. All of these represent a 100%-500% improvement, according to the spokesman.
International rights organizations have been widely and tirelessly criticizing Qatar and other Gulf countries for their Kafala system of foreign labour at least once every two years. The Kafala system has been described as a system which effectively protects the rights and interests of particular local earthworm species, but falls short of doing the same for foreign workers whose status is just under that of the aforementioned endemic fauna. Qatar has so far had to endure stern international punishments for its worker rights abuses, such as hosting the FIFA World Cup, the Olympics, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, Formula 1 races, golf tournaments, and will soon possibly become the headquarters of the UN.
The country has made improving workers’ rights a priority, and now boasts the results, while admitting that there are still areas where “a bit of improvement can be made here and there”.
“No, they don’t get to keep their passports! Let’s not be unreasonable now… N…no….no, air-conditioning? No, look….ok….look….they’re SOUTH-ASIAN-GYPSY-PAUPERS. They’ve never even seen air-conditioning in their life, the only conditioning they saw was getting used to the conditions of sewage in the water supply”, the spokesman said at the conference.
“If we have any money left over from our financing terrorists budget, we may even make water available to every stinking slave for at least two moments per day, which would be an amazing 100% imporvement”, the spokesman added.
The state spokesman also produced statistics that showed that last month only eight maids have been battered to death or driven to suicide by abusive employers, and that only 1532 construction workers have died at work. Of those construction workers, 95% died of heatstroke, dehydration or sleep deprivation combined with walking on high places and working with heavy machinery. Three weeks ago, 55 workers died in a single afternoon while building a road, most of them “fell to their death”, a government investigation concluded.
Qatar has one of the world’s highest percentages of foreign workers in the country, who make up 100% of the country’s population, while the mythological beings sometimes referred to as Authentic Qataris may or may not have roamed there once. The royal family is not included in this statistic because it would be “unhygenic” to be part of the same statistic as the labour force.
Most of Qatar’s foreign workers came from south Asia before, but since two years ago Yazidis have mysteriously overtaken the south Asians in number. The only foreign worker that would talk to us, coming from Bangladesh, simply said “Veri gud, no landslides”.
This unprecedented imporvement of workers’ rights in Qatar comes six months after a slave uprising in the United Arab Emirates ended with a successful coup. Since then the country has been known as West Nepal and was on a steep road to social recovery until the water became undrinkable, packs of rabid stray dogs emerged and threatened people everywhere, and an earthquake destroyed all hope of progress.