Qatar Labor Department
The International Trade Union Confederation - Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP) praised the major reforms undertaken by the State of Qatar in the field of labor and the protection of expatriate workers, stressing that it established a solid platform to protect workers after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The ITUC-Asia Pacific conducted a three-day mission to the State of Qatar from 9 to 11 March 2022 to better understand the labor reforms and their implementation in the State, to identify remaining gaps in the full protection of human and labor rights and put forward recommendations to further improve living and working conditions of migrant workers.
The mission was composed of trade union migration experts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. It met with representatives of the State of Qatar from the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Interior as well as with labor attaches from embassies of different countries of origin. The mission also met with global union community liaison officers and other migrant community leaders.
The delegation welcomed the most recent changes that seek to better protect migrant workers in the State of Qatar, including in particular the entry into force in March 2021 of the law on the minimum wage.
The delegation also welcomed the heat stress legislation, which stipulates limiting working hours and measures to protect workers from heat stress during the summer months.
It also commended the inspection campaigns carried out by the Ministry of Labor, pointing out that 338 businesses were shut down for non-compliance during a targeted campaign by the labor inspectorate in the summer of 2021.
The delegation also welcomed the standard contract for domestic workers which was revised in 2021 to equate certain rights of domestic workers with those of other workers in the private sector, in particular in relation to overtime pay, termination and conditions of employment. It pointed out that 14 Qatar Visa Centers were set up in several origin countries to address contract substitution.
New regulation on the conditions and procedures for licensing recruitment from abroad was introduced, including a ban on recruitment fees charged to workers, the International Trade Union Confederation - Asia Pacific noted.
It added that an online complaints platform was created to increase workers access, and efforts are still ongoing to address the backlog of dispute settlement cases after the COVID pandemic prevented hearings
The delegation welcomed the significant advances in the remuneration and working conditions of migrant workers and complemented the State of Qatar for its continued commitment. Qatar is by far the regional leader in terms of workers participation and social dialogue, labor mobility, labor law and international cooperation and transparency, it stated.
The role of the Qatar Visa Centers is important and can be expanded, the delegation said, adding that it welcomed the proposal by the State of Qatar to explore this further through a number of study visits where the State of Qatar and social partners in origin countries can discuss how to improve accessibility and effectiveness of the Centers.
It welcomed the State of Qatars engagement in the ILOs Fair Recruitment Initiative and shared the vision that it offers a good framework to increase transparency and accountability in the recruitment process in partnership with social partners in countries of origin.
The delegation welcomed the express commitment from the State of Qatar that the labor reforms will be consolidated and continued in the framework of Qatar National Vision 2030, beyond the World Cup at the end of 2022. In this regard, the delegation welcomed the proposal of the State of Qatar to establish a more structural presence of the International Labor Organization in the country to continue accompany the process.
In the end of its report, the International Trade Union Confederation - Asia Pacific delegation thanked the State of Qatar and commended its openness to frank discussions as part of an ongoing and constructive dialogue.
The delegation stated that it looks forward to continued engagement with the State of Qatar to further lead the path to social justice for migrant workers in the Gulf region. (QNA)
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