To the Middle East to Work, or Not:
Labor Trafficking, Migrant Workers, and Governance
Many nations in the gulf area are developing at a break-neck pace, especially on the Arabian Peninsula, which is rich in oil resources. With such a fast rate of development in the Middle East, there is an overwhelming need for migrant workers. The conditions migrant workers face while in migration and while working can resemble bondage, slave labor and or illicit human trafficking. Many nations and organizations have made progress in creating laws and regulations that in theory should create secure conditions for migrant workers, but in reality, the conditions are only getting worse. Nations often lack the will to define labor trafficking and working conditions as a human rights problem, and instead focusing on criminal organizations and illegal migration. Once in the host country, migrant workers are often subjected to slave labor conditions that are solidified in ambiguous regulation and tribal-like politics. With such deplorable conditions and an absence of any recourse, migrant workers are more frequently looking toward suicide as a means of escape. Governance in the Gulf areas aimed at protecting migrant workers from labor trafficking and slave-like working conditions lacks effectiveness.