29 Apr 2018 – 17:31
Doha: International Labor Organization (ILO) has opened an office in Qatar on Sunday, which is the first step in implementing the technical cooperation agreement signed between the Qatar government and ILO last October. The three-year agreement aims to promote labour laws in the country and build government officials’ capacity to implement them and ensure that recruitment practices are in line with best international practices.
Minister of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs, H E Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi said “Qatar welcomes the opening of this office and there is no doubt that it is another step in Qatar’s path to apply a system that simulates the best global systems.”
“Qatar now has a new partner to help it promoting and protecting the labor rights in the country,” he added.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the office, the minister said that “Qatar holds a pioneering position in the region with regards to labour rights. The technical expertise and directives that the ILO will provide will be of high importance, especially when Qatar is in transition to adopt a modern work system that meets the best standards, not only among the GCC countries, but also around the world.”
The minister added that Qatar has continued efforts to introduce measures and reforms to labour laws and markets, this is reflected in the last three years, when Law No. 21 of 2015 was issued on regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence, issuing the wage protection system, establishing labor disputes settlement committees and a draft law on establishing a labor support fund.
Al Nuaimi said Qatar’s efforts in this regard is also reflected in issuing Law No. 15 of 2017 on domestic uses, issuing the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking, forming the expatriate exit complaints committee, forming a committee to review the status of minimum wage and approving the activation of joint labor committees.
The minister said these measures and new legislations have tangible and positive effect on the expatriate labors and complies with the goals of UN Sustainable Development Goals and the ILO purposes.
Al Nuaimi said the inauguration of the ILO office, is a culmination of Qatar’s ongoing efforts to secure a decent life and work for expatriate labor and works on achieving a comprehensive system for employers and labors around Qatar.
Al Nuaimi highlighted that opening the office in Qatar confirms the mutual cooperation and commitment with ILO to achieve and implement the basic work and labor principles and rights in the work place.
The minister said the continuous cooperation between Qatar and all international and regional organization in harmonious with its policies and its role as an effective partners in the global community. It also makes Qatar at the forefront of countries supporting the rule of law and international conventions and agreements that achieve security, peace, development and social justice of peoples.
The minister said Qatar has given great importance to global cooperation, which is reflected in its constitution and national vision which aims to transition it, by 2030 to a developed country that is able to achieve sustainable development, ensure continuous wellbeing and ensure decent work for its people generation after generation.
He added that Qatar is witnessing a comprehensive renaissance and increasing development especially in the economic, developmental and social fields. This unprecedented development has attracted large numbers of expatriate labour who are participating in this renaissance, the minister said.
Al Nuaimi said that Qatar is dealing major challenges in this regard, in particular the balance between the needs of the current generation and the needs of future generations, the targeted growth, the development path and the size and quality of expatriate labour.
The minister expressed hope that through the implementation of the technical cooperation programme between Qatar and ILO, an elaborate approach will be developed that includes best practices in the field of labor recruitment.
For his part, Deputy Director-General of the ILO Moussa Oumarou, said that the opening of this office is proof of Qatar’s commitment to protect the rights of workers.
The Minister noted that Qatar has in recent years implemented a number of policies and legislations on the protection of employment, both in terms occupational health and safety and adequate housing, in addition to all aspects that would help Qatar become one of the leading countries in promoting labor rights, pointing to continued cooperation with the ILO to reach higher Care levels for expatriate workers in Qatar.
The aim of the Technical Cooperation Agreement is to improve payment of wages, labor inspection, occupational safety and health, implementing a contractual system, improving working conditions and procedures, increasing prevention and protection from forced labor and trafficking in human beings, giving voice to workers.
The International Trade Union Confederation praised in October Qatar’s commitment to protecting labor rights, saying that the reforms they wanted were all implemented.