Doha – Qena

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 The State of Qatar has expressed its total rejection of Amnesty International’s allegations that labor market reforms have not led to realistic changes that serve hundreds of thousands of migrant workers.

And the Ministry of Labor pointed out in a statement in response to the report issued by Amnesty International entitled “Correcting the Facts 2021: A Year Since the Start of the 2022 World Cup” that the report ignored the ability of about 242,870 migrant workers to change their workplace since the announcement of facilitating worker transfer procedures between different employers in In September 2020, it also failed to indicate that more than 400,000 workers had directly benefited from the new minimum wage, which resulted in salary increases and other financial incentives.

She noted that the report also ignored the fact that hundreds of thousands of workers were able to leave the State of Qatar and return to it without obtaining prior permission from their employer, since exit permits were canceled in 2018, stressing that the wage protection system contributed to protecting more than 96% of workers. of violations related to wages, in addition to the contribution of Qatar visa centers in the labor-sending countries to significantly reducing the exploitative practices that workers are exposed to before their arrival in the State of Qatar, as well as the decision to extend the period of working hours in which it is prohibited to work in open workplaces during the summer To reduce the effects of heat stress.

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The Ministry of Labor added in its statement, “The State of Qatar has strengthened procedures for implementing laws to protect expatriate workers and hold violating employers to account. The number of inspectors working for the Ministry of Labor is constantly increasing year after year, and their capabilities are being strengthened to conduct comprehensive investigations of working conditions and refer violators to labor courts.” In the first half of 2021, the ministry’s inspectors inspected 35,280 workplaces and workers’ accommodation, and issued 13,724 violations against companies in violation of labor laws, including closing workplaces, financial fines, and prison sentences, in addition to conducting 4,840 field visits to workplaces to enhance awareness of the new laws among employees and employers.

In its statement, the ministry indicated that more companies are held accountable every year for violating labor laws, and stressed in this regard that comprehensive reform is a long-term process, and that changing the behavior of all companies requires more time, and stressed that these procedures come as a strict message. For companies, the state will never tolerate any violation.

She went on to say in a related context, “The State of Qatar has always indicated that its labor system still needs more efforts, and accordingly, the country is committed to cooperating constructively with its international partners and critics in order to achieve more progress in labor standards for all expatriate workers working on its territory. The State of Qatar will continue to consult with international experts, including the International Labor Organization and trade unions, in addition to periodic consultations with non-governmental organizations to listen to their recommendations.

She pointed out that no other country has been able to achieve the same achievements so quickly, as the labor market reforms undertaken by the State of Qatar serve as an impetus for the countries of the region to follow suit and take a series of measures to adopt labor market reforms.

She explained that labor market reform is a complex task, and therefore the State of Qatar believes that dialogue and communication are the best ways to reach effective solutions. “For this reason, and despite the criticisms made by Amnesty International, the State of Qatar will continue its constructive work with labor experts and workers in this field to build on progress made.”