ILO hails Qatar’s commitment to protect workers’ rights

 09 Nov 2017 - 8:39

ILO hails Qatar’s commitment to protect workers’ rights
File picture used for representation.

The Peninsula

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) closed the complaint against Qatar in recognition to the progress that has been made by Qatar which introduced legislation amendments on labour law to protect rights of workers and pledged further reforms as well as technical cooperation with the concerned UN bodies. 

The unanimous decision to close the complaint was taken by the ILO Governing Body session held in Geneva on the complaint submitted to the International Labour Conference in 2014 claiming the failure of the Government of Qatar to maintain a legal framework sufficient to protect the rights of the migrant workers consistent with international law and to enforce the legal protections that existed. 

“The ILO welcomes the commitment of Qatar to engage in substantive cooperation with the Organization for the promotion and protection of workers’ rights, and looks forward to the successful implementation of the cooperation programme over the next three years,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

Luc Cortebeeck, Chairperson of the Governing Body, said: “The transformation of this complaint into a real commitment by the Government of Qatar to make positive change on the ground for all workers is a very encouraging development. We celebrate this moment for Qatar and its two million migrant workers.”  

The complaint was discussed at numerous sessions of the Governing Body and at its 331st Session reached unanimous decision to end the complaint.  This decision means that ILO will not set up an ILO commission of inquiry into alleged exploitation in the 2022 World Cup projects. ILO is to endorse the launch of a comprehensive three-year ILO technical cooperation programme in Qatar following signed a partnership agreement signed with the government. 

Qatar has also signed 36 agreements with countries that provide much of its labour force to protect worker’s rights and regulate their recruitments in line with the new laws introduced as part of the reform process. 

According to ILO which is to endorse the launch of a comprehensive three-year ILO technical cooperation programme in Qatar developed on the basis of a high-level ILO visit in March 2016 and signature of partnership agreement.

The technical cooperation programme will allow the two parties to work together to strengthen national regulations and practices, and the capacities of the Government, employers and workers to realise fundamental principles and rights at work, in line with international labour standards.

ILO pointed out that the cooperation programme aims to improve employment conditions and recruitment practices for migrant workers, ensure timely payment of wages, strengthen labour inspection and occupational safety and health standards, enhance protection from forced labour, and replace the kafala system with a contractual employment relation. 

ILO’s Ryder signed a partnership agreement with Minister of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs of Qatar, H E Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi, for a three-year technical cooperation project. “The ILO welcomes the commitment of Qatar to engage in substantive cooperation with the Organization for the promotion and protection of workers’ rights.”