The University Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday requesting specific information on labor practices at Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar in response to allegations of labor abuses. The resolution requests that details of any and all previous labor investigations or audits conducted at Qatar be sent to Cornell. It passed with a final vote of 10-0-1. Recent protests have revealed a substantial interest in labor practices and conditions in Qatar among students, staff and faculty, according to the resolution. The motivation for the resolution was a report from the International Trade Union Confederation that raised concerns of labor exploitation in Education City in Qatar, possibly even in Cornell facilities, according to Alexander Thomson ’13, executive vice chair of the U.A.
Qatari labor practices enforce the kafala system — a migrant-labor monitoring process which requires all unskilled laborers to have an in-country sponsor but also allows employers to commit massive labor exploitation with minimal legal repercussions, according to the resolution.