22 May 2018

18 April 2018 - Qatar is a small country roughly the size of Montenegro. 2.7 million people live in the country, of which only 12% are Qatari citizens. The country has the highest per capita GDP in the world and is the world’s third largest gas producer and third greatest exporter of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). It is defined by both its energy endowments and its wealth. Qatari citizens enjoy a myriad of privileges compared with other residents in the country, but there has been an effort to improve conditions for non-Qatari workers. Criticism surrounding the construction of World Cup stadiums stung the government, and it has worked with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to improve working conditions in the country. Both the ILO and Amnesty International have noted the positive changes undertaken in labour and human rights conditions in the country. There is now talk of establishing permanent residence for some of those who have worked for years in Qatar. A change to the definition of citizenship, however, would seem unlikely. That said, the solidarity many non-citizen residents have shown with the government during the current crisis marks an important change and could have a positive impact over the long run