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Posted On: 11 April 2019 10:09 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:20 pm

Qatar upholds interest in human rights protection and labour law development

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Qatar has affirmed its interest in the promotion and protection of human rights as a strategic option for country in the provisions and principles of the Constitution and national legislation, which are in line with the international conventions and instruments related to human rights to which Qatar has acceded, and it stressed that it has spared no effort to improve and develop labour laws.

This came in a statement delivered by Her Excellency (H.E.) Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, at the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Her Excellency said in line with Qatar's policy to promote human rights, it has spared no effort to improve and develop labor laws, improve living standards and provide a decent life for them, reiterating Qatar's keenness to deal with this issue with transparency that reflects its commitment to international labor standards and expatriate labor who contributed to the process of construction and development witnessed by Qatar.

In this context, H.E. the Ambassador noted the legislative and executive measures taken by the Government of Qatar to ensure the protection and promotion of the human rights of expat workers, namely the promulgation of laws to implement many reforms related to labor laws and regulations, including the abolition of the sponsorship system, referring to Law 13 of 2018 issued by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, which was welcomed and commended by the ILO, and which guarantees the promotion of the rights of expat workers and the implementation of a contractual system in line with international labour instruments.

Her Excellency noted many bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding signed by Qatar with the labour-sending countries to provide legal protection for expatriate workers, pointing to the establishment of the Workers' Support and Insurance Fund to support and secure their rights and to provide a healthy and safe work environment for them, in accordance with Law No 17 of 2018, explaining that the establishment of this fund stems from Qatar's keenness to protect the rights of workers, ensure their access to their financial dues, and compliment the package of complementary legislation and laws of this system.

H.E. Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations commended the ILO's important and effective role in promoting rights, social protection and decent work opportunities, noting the existing cooperation between Qatar and the Organisation, and pointing to the opening of the ILO project office after the signing of the technical cooperation agreement with the Organisation.

HE the Ambassador continued by saying that the technical cooperation project reflects the joint commitment of the Government of the State of Qatar and the ILO to cooperate to ensure compliance with the international labour agreements to which Qatar is a party as well as to realize fundamental principles and rights related to work in Qatar through several areas, among them improving labour inspection and occupational safety and health systems, increasing prevention, protection and prosecution against forced labour, and giving voice to workers as an essential party in the work equation.

Her Excellency added that this project clearly reflects the efforts of the Government of Qatar to implement many reforms related to labour laws and regulations, as well as to provide additional guarantees that promote and protect the rights of workers.

Her Excellency did not miss the opportunity to emphasise the need to ensure equality and non-discrimination in women's access to decent work, equal pay and participation in the labour market, adding that this was of great importance, especially since women disproportionately bore the most precarious working conditions, including low wage levels.

H.E. the Ambassador said the changes in the world of work and the rapid changes in technology require investment in the development of digital skills, taking into account the needs of specific groups who suffer from discrimination, providing equal conditions and decent work, which are all essential elements for sustainable economic growth, and the formation of 'the future of work'.

Concluding, Her Excellency stressed that Qatar would continue to make every effort to enable the ILO to carry out its tasks and achieve the objectives sought by the international community, ensuring the implementation of the international labour instruments. (QNA)