Middle East Online
reports on the tribulations of foreign guest workers in the Gulf states
. The article pretty much speaks for itself, though it leaves out the fact that in many of these countries the population boom is leading governments to try and nativize the workforces, meaning jobs for these guest workers are getting harder to come by. Because they already form such a huge chunk of the population, I worry that these social tensions could erupt more frequently in years to come.
On a side note, I also worry that President Bush's guest worker program will lead to these sorts of problems in the U.S. The weakness in guest workers' position is often that their ability to stay in the country depends on their employers' goodwill, so legal guarantees that abuses will be dealt with don't always mean a whole lot. After all, someone has to actually report or testify to the abuse.