Some 86 percent of migrant workers in Qatar are still being made to surrender their passports to their employers, despite the practice being illegal, a new survey by Qatar University (QU) has found.
The figure is down marginally from last year’s report, which found that 91 percent of laborers interviewed did not retain their passports.
The findings are part of a larger report on life in Qatar conducted by QU’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI), which released highlights of its third annual Omnibus survey yesterday.
Views on marriage, parenting, politics, education and social media usage were also measured.
To conduct “A Survey of Life in Qatar,” QU researchers interviewed a random sample of 788 Qatari households, 845 professional expat households and 721 migrant workers face-to-face in six different languages.
Long hours, long weeks
According to the survey, which was conducted in May 2012, 90 percent of the laborers interviewed worked six-day weeks, compared to 86 percent last year.
When asked how they obtained employment in Qatar, 46 percent reported using an agency, with 84 percent saying they paid a fee to secure work.
Though some 37 percent said they were “somewhat satisfied” with their jobs, 32 percent of respondents said that they were “very dissatisfied.”
Highlights from the rest of the report include:
- Qataris are getting married at older ages than what they said was the ideal of 25 years old for men and 21 years old for women (versus the reality of 27 years old for men and 24 for women).
- The vast majority of Qatari parents (73 percent) report rarely or never using corporal punishment on their children. About a fifth, however, admit to spanking their children occasionally, and 8 percent say they spank their children regularly.
- Unsurprisingly, Al Jazeera is Qatar’s most frequently watched TV news channel, with 65 percent of Qataris and 56 percent of expats reportedly tuning in.
- A whopping 97 percent of Qataris believe that having a degree will improve their career prospects. Some 80 percent also believe that higher education helps women become better wives and mothers, and more than two-thirds (69 percent) believe that having a degree improves their marriage prospects.
- When it comes to computer usage, expats use computers more frequently than Qataris – 63 percent of expats compared to 44 percent of Qataris use one at least once a week.
- Only 12 percent of expats and 8 percent of Qataris say they use Twitter.
Credit: Photo by Richard Messenger