Human Rights Watch called on the Arab Gulf states to release all expatriates held illegally or unnecessarily, including anyone who cannot be deported in the near future.
The organization urged these countries to provide alternatives other than arrest for the detainees awaiting deportation, amid health risks and global travel restrictions caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
It also demanded that it stop arresting undocumented expatriates, including "fleeing" workers, cancel fines for overstaying residency, and follow procedures that respect health and safety standards for arrivals who wish to return to their country.
"Many migrant workers in the Gulf - especially those without documentation without it being wrong or who escaped from corrupt employers - are subjected to prolonged detention prior to overcrowding in crowded places and unsanitary conditions," said Michael Page, deputy director of the Middle East division at Human Rights Watch. ".
He added that with the escalation of the Corona virus crisis, Gulf countries should take immediate measures to protect the health and rights of detainees and workers in migrant detention centers, including the release of persons and finding alternatives to detention.
The organization warned that infectious diseases such as those caused by the Coronavirus pose a serious threat to human groups in closed institutions, such as expatriate detention centers.
She pointed out that the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries host large numbers of migrant workers under different versions of the "exploitative sponsorship system that links migrant workers' visas to employers and exposes them to violations."
The organization said that in all these countries forms of immigration-related detention are used for other purposes that are not the last step to ensure deportation, often in situations that may be considered arbitrary or otherwise inconsistent with international human rights standards.