Quick Facts

  Value of construction projects completed across the GCC, 2014

Value of construction projects completed across the GCC, 2014

  Remittances migrant workers sent to developing countries, 2011

Remittances migrant workers sent to developing countries, 2011

  Height in feet of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world

Height in feet of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world

 

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Every year, millions of migrant workers leave their homes to pursue jobs and economic opportunity in the booming global construction industry.

With limited employment alternatives in their home countries, migrant workers seek opportunities abroad that allow them and their families to move out of poverty. But these workers often operate in a gray zone between home and host country protections that leave them vulnerable to exploitation, especially in the recruitment process. Some recruitment agencies charge workers exorbitant fees – in some cases an amount equal to a year's salary – to place them in construction jobs abroad. After they migrate, workers can encounter poor working conditions, unpaid or underpaid wages, or the inability to leave the country or change jobs without their employer's permission.


  The study examines the recruitment practices faced by migrant laborers working in the construction industry in the Arabian Gulf. 

The study examines the recruitment practices faced by migrant laborers working in the construction industry in the Arabian Gulf. 

In April 2018, the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, and Humanity United launched the Gulf Construction Tracker. Based on over a year of data collection, the Tracker is the first central public online database of new construction projects awarded in the Arab Gulf region that are likely to involve low-wage migrant workers. It is a tool for civil society, business, and academics to conduct more targeted research and advocacy on migrant rights issues – including recruitment fees – in the region's construction sector.

   According to our findings, in 2017 new construction awards in the Gulf totaled at least US$ 88.6 billion in value, with 412 contracts awarded to 296 companies. The Tracker will be updated on an ongoing basis.

 According to our findings, in 2017 new construction awards in the Gulf totaled at least US$ 88.6 billion in value, with 412 contracts awarded to 296 companies. The Tracker will be updated on an ongoing basis.

 


 
 

Photos from David Segall's 2015 fact finding mission in India