Blood, Sweat and Tears

Exposing the appalling conditions facing many Asian labourers in the Gulf.

Al Jazeera reporters gained unprecedented
access to labour camps in the region

Al Jazeera takes a revealing look at the appalling conditions facing many of the 10 million Asian labourers in the Gulf, most of whom come from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

During a three month investigation, reporters gained unprecedented access to labour camps and workers in the region, demonstrating how the labourers’ desire to help their families and improve their financial situation is exploited as they are forced to work in inhumane conditions far from home. 

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“These hard working people deserve decent living and working conditions while working in the Gulf States”.

Creative_person01, Islamabad, Pakistan

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The suicide note of Thangaval, an Indian labourer in Dubai who killed himself in 2005 after revealing that he was unable to repay the US$1,200 illegal finder fee to the agent who recruited him read: “I ask that my family not grieve for me… the financial pain I face here is too much.”

According to the Indian embassy, 109 Indian labourers committed suicide in the UAE in 2006 alone.

Using undercover footage and interviews with labourers in Qatar and the UAE, regional labour experts and Asian Embassy officials, Al Jazeera English will bring viewers inside this troubling world of exploitation, outlining the difficulties facing Asian workers on their journeys from their villages to vast labour camps and dangerous construction sites. 

Labourers are often made to work in
punishing heat and inhumane conditions

The workers, charged up to US$1,600 – or two years salary – by their local recruiters to find jobs in the region, leave their families behind and relocate to the Gulf labour camps where they often work in 50 degree heat and face life-threatening industrial accidents, all for between US$5 and $7 a day. 

With recruiting agents, companies and government officials pointing fingers at one another, Al Jazeera asks the tough question: Is enough being done to improve the appalling conditions facing Asian labourers in the Gulf? 

Blood, Sweat and Tears brings viewers the human side of this tragedy, demonstrating how the Asian labourers’ hopes and dreams for a better life are often met by the stark reality of life in the Gulf.

Blood Sweat and Tears will be aired at the following times GMT on Al Jazeera English:
Saturday 18th August (1430, 2230)
Sunday 19th August (0230, 1230)
Monday 20th August (0030, 0730)
Tuesday 21st August (0600, 1330)
Wednesday 22nd August (1130, 1930)
Thursday 23rd August (0530)
Friday 24th August (0300, 1630)
Saturday 25th August (0630)

Watch Part One here:

Watch Part Two here:

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