Glitter States lock guest workers
Glitter States lock guest workers

Pandemic and discrimination – glitter-States lock migrants, guest workers way into Singapore, Dubai or Qatar, toiling hosts of work. Due to Corona, they are isolated and racism are exposed to.Dunja Ramadan, Arne Perras14 Kommentare14Warten on the Transfer in an isolated accommodation: Foreign workers in Singapore. Photo:

Singapore now provides “floating hotels” on its shores. With tropical romance, this has to do however nothing to the floating Hostels are born out of necessity. The city-state in Southeast Asia provides additional accommodation for workers on the water, the Corona-to curb the pandemic. Singapore needs space, in order to separate Healthy from Infected.

Long was the commercial metropolis of the Virus well in hand, but then the second wave came with returnees from all over the world. 20. April climbed, the number of new infections are among to 1426, so high was never. Of the state since the beginning of the month hard, granted, now no more warnings, if Covid rules are broken, but imposed immediate fines. Up to the equivalent of 6800 Swiss francs are due – in the worst case, six months in prison.

now, However, is building another massive Problem: The disease spreads rapidly among foreign construction workers.

“Social Distancing” is not possible

A similar Situation also Qatar, the Arab Emirate of 6200 kilometers is familiar with further to the East. Here, too, labour are increasingly migrants from Asia, from Covid-19 affected – from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and other low-wage countries. Like in Singapore, they work under extreme climatic conditions, send the meager earnings of the family home.

Without the guest-worker model, neither Qatar nor Dubai or Singapore would be today what they are. Glittering facades everywhere, pulled from a Pool of people who are recruited, where there is usually no work. In Singapore, there are more than 200’000, in the Arab States of the Gulf, several million. There, too, the authorities are now trying to isolate those migrants who have been infected.

In Qatar, about the police in an industrial area had a half-hour away from the capital Doha, in the middle of March thousands of men in cramped dorms on lockdown after hundreds were positive on the Virus tested. That was a fatal decision for the Healthy: such As in Singapore, the accommodations of the workers are in the Persian Gulf so that the much-touted “Social Distancing” is simply impossible. Eight to twelve people sleeping in one room, share kitchen and toilets with the other residents of the room.

On the water or in the desert

workers who are not yet ill, should be outsourced, therefore, at least in Singapore, in part, on floating properties, how they are used in the Offshore industry, Oil and Gas, are used. Even cruise ships, the transport is currently not a tourist, be considered as accommodations for guest workers.

Also in Qatar, some people decide to have the workers out of the cities. The already latent racism in the Arab Gulf countries towards labour migrants comes to the fore since the beginning of the Corona-crisis particularly hard. In countries such as Qatar, Kuwait or the United Arab Emirates, more and more voices are raised, the foreigners working for the spread of the Virus responsible.

in Spite of the Corona-crisis: In Qatar, the construction work for the soccer world Cup 2022 go on. Photo: Reuters

In Kuwait, the well-known actress Hayat al-Fahad requested the beginning of April in a live broadcast to the workers but into the desert chic – what’s not to understand in a country which is in large Parts from Sand, just as a phrase. The MP Safa al-Hashim, the notice regularly do with racist sentiment, to handle the claim in the Parliament and demanded the expulsion of all migrant workers. Your damage is greater Benefit than you, she said. A well-known Youtuber from the Emirates to top it again: He understand among migrants, not the “Arab brothers” from Egypt or Sudan, but only Asians, i.e. Indians or Bengalis. Although all three received a Shitstorm, but they also received encouragement.

Singapore’s Premier Lee Hsien Loong sought other words: In a speech, he acknowledged the use of foreign workers to the Nation and to the families in the distance, assured that the state take care of their health. Wages to be paid under quarantine more. At the same time but germinated criticism that is heard only rarely in the city-state.

Tommy Koh, Singapore’s former envoy to the United Nations, called the conditions in the accommodation as “a time bomb” whose Explosion was to be expected. In the “Straits Times” came to an Indian worker to word, the of cockroaches and overflowing toilets reported. The Ministry of labour of Singapore said it is working to improve the living conditions. The control over the Management of the affected workers ‘ settlements is now in the hands of the army. This is an indication of how serious the situation is considered to be.

guest workers anxious to get along

in The Gulf, such state Intervention is not yet in sight. The organization Migrant Rights, working since 2007 for the rights of guest workers in the Arab States of the Gulf, had in a media release announced that guest workers were even more than before from the “good will of the Individual” dependent.

Some landlords have taken the Initiative and the Rent temporarily suspended. Charity organizations to operate schools and empty buildings in order to bring the guest workers from the cramped and dangerous living conditions. Actually, however, the policy would have to ensure the safety of the people. In reality, however, the Livelihoods of many guest workers is not even guaranteed.

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