Posted on November 10, 2017

Qatar has welcomed the announcement by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that it will close its 2014 complaint against the country.

“Their announcement is an acknowledgement of the important steps our government has taken to develop a modern labour system that is fair to employers and employees alike,” a statement issued by the Government Communication Office said. “Qatar’s 2030 vision recognised the need to improve the living and working conditions of its migrant labour force well before contractors broke ground on World Cup sites.

“In recent years, Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs initiated a sweeping new programme to upgrade workers’ housing by creating modern accommodations for the nation’s migrant labourers. “Nine new labour accommodations that will house more than 340,000 guest workers are already nearing completion at sites throughout the country. “Qatar’s government has also increased health care facilities with the construction of three modern hospitals and four new health centres for the nation’s migrant workers. “In addition, a new labour contract system has been inaugurated, and a Wage Protection System put in place to facilitate electronic transfer of workers’ pay,” it said.

Detailing other steps taken to ensure workers’ welfare, the statement said: “The government has also engaged with NGOs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Trade Union Confederation to establish best practices for labour policies and has pledged to implement the highest standards for migrant labour in the region. “We are appreciative of the insights all of those who have provided their international expertise and helped shape Qatar’s legal and procedural developments. “Qatar will continue to work closely with them to ensure that workers’ rights are not only guaranteed but developed in parallel with international standards and best practices.

“In light of the ILO complaint, Qatar developed a comprehensive programme of technical cooperation to ensure our reforms aligned with ILO best practice. In October of this year Qatar committed to the next stage of these reforms, and is developing a timeline for their full implementation. “Qatar is enormously grateful to the millions of workers who have helped build the country’s infrastructure and who staff Qatar’s service industries.

The government will continue improving their living and working conditions in the years ahead, as Qatar pursues our goal of setting the highest standard for worker’s rights, and human rights in the region,” the statement added.

source: Gulf Times