Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Human rights group calls for a boycott of Qatar Airways

On March 16, Qatar Airways, an airline owned by the State of Qatar, an oil-rich country in the Persian Gulf, begins daily service from Boston's Logan Airport to Doha, Qatar.

The expansion of the State of Qatar's commercial enterprises, including state-owned Qatar Airways, reflects the smoke and mirror tactics used by the Qatari government to hide the inhumane treatment of its most vulnerable workers, according to the Alliance for Workers Against Repression Everywhere (AWARE). “The de facto marketing arm of the state, Qatar Airways, is expanding rapidly across the globe and touts itself as 'luxurious' and 'world-class,' while at the same time masking egregious human rights abuses being committed within the country,” AWARE said in a press release Tuesday.

AWARE will be leading an international campaign using the hashtag, #boycottQatar, as Qatar Airways launches this new service. The group is a nonprofit organization working to bring international attention to policies and business tactics that harm workers' rights.

"Qatar Airways has, itself, abused its employees who work under the careful watch of the Qatari government,” AWARE said. “In Doha, the airline mandates that its employees live in company housing with strict curfews and where their personal lives are monitored, and bans workers from marrying without its permission. Female employees who become pregnant can be terminated. Women also must adhere to strict grooming policies, including weight limits. It is imperative the local Massachusetts government and citizens of Boston are made aware of Qatar and Qatar Airways' litany of abuses against workers.”

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