Day 218: The refugees of boom and bust

In 2006 young Qatari students took Cameron Sinclair to see migrant worker camps. For the first time, he realised there were over 1.1 million migrants behind the headlines on new building projects. Mainly of Indian, Sri Lankan or Pakistani descent, these people pay a middle man thousands of dollars to get to the UAE, in order to make a better life for their families back home. Instead, they find themselves in a labour camp with inadequate water, no air conditioning and their passports taken away.
During the GFC, the construction industry went bust. Thousands of these workers found themselves without documentation, passports or tickets home. This talk is from 2009, but as recently as May this year, there have been reports of ongoing strikes over work conditions.
Sinclair challenges everybody who works in the industry to make a stand. If an engineer, architect, or building contractor arrives on site weekly to see this exploitation, aren’t they complicit rather than complacent?

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