International Labor Organization (ILO), Regional Director for Arabs H E Dr. Ruba Jaradat said the changes Qatar has made in the labor market sector in recent years, which have been implemented over a record time and at a rapid pace, are exemplary.
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He emphasized that the organization was appreciative of the changes made by the Qatari labor market in recent years. In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) next to the International Labor Conference held in Geneva, Jaradat emphasized the close and ongoing cooperation between Qatar and the ILO to further develop all these reforms and to address minor challenges and problems in use.
He said the changes Qatar had seen in the labor market sector were significant and had been made over some time. He noted that the ILO office has been operating in Doha for more than four years which has seen tremendous progress and incredible speed in the labor market and is yet to be achieved and the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 will also be an opportunity to celebrate these achievements.
Jadat pointed out that Qatar has not hesitated to achieve change in the labor market, as it has continued to do so even in the darkest situations the country sees during the COVID-19 violence. He said the transformation process was still ongoing, whether it was related to the occupational support or safety program and health and wages, as well as domestic workers, labor courts, workers’ voices, and others.
Jarat pointed out that there has been significant progress in terms of new laws and policies, as well as significant improvements in institutional capacity to ensure the effective implementation of these laws and policies, as well as in developing relationships with a large number of stakeholders, especially representatives of NGOs workers and employers.
He explained that one of the biggest achievements in transforming the labor market in Qatar so far has been the ability of workers to change jobs without the consent of their employers. Jarat said the change allowed for the greater labor movement in the country, and improved working conditions, companies also benefited as they were able to hire local workers and find workers who best suited their needs, while Qatar gained wealth by retaining skills and experience within the country.
He emphasized the need to align the changes with the Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims to build a competitive, knowledge-based economy where Qatar’s lucrative labor market will allow it to compete globally attracting talent and investment.
Regarding the agreement signed between Qatar and the ILO in 2017, he said the evaluation conducted by the United Nations on the first phase of technical cooperation between Qatar and the organization for the 2017-21 period was very positive. For more to know about Qatar World Cup tickets Click here.
Jaradat said the first phase results were officially presented to all stakeholders and stakeholders who expressed their satisfaction with Qatar’s results and achievements in this regard, describing the results achieved in the first phase as unusual, and the ILO working in more than 140 countries worldwide and it is not uncommon to see changes occur at this pace.
He explained that the first phase made significant changes at the legal level. Jaradat said in the first year after the launch of these changes, more than 240,000 workers changed their employers, which is a large number of workers who have changed the balance between workers and employers.
He said concerning the second phase of the technology cooperation agreement, there were recommendations included in the first phase evaluation which will be implemented during the second phase which has already begun, and focuses on achieving a career transformation agenda for various personnel management institutions.
He also emphasized the importance of benefiting from the successful experience of the changes made in the Qatari labor market and integrating them, as many good practices have been followed in Qatar that can be shared with other countries in the region and abroad.
Jaradat said the practices include, for example, imposing lower-wage discrimination that includes lower food and housing restrictions, while the warming law tightens workers’ security in one of Qatar’s main occupational hazards, where many workers in other regions around the world will face climate change.
He spoke about the future cooperation between the organization and Qatar, emphasizing the desire to continue long-term cooperation between the two parties through the United Arab Emirates Office, and outlined talks between the two sides on how to establish long-term cooperation in the region of work beyond the current project.
ITUC chief executive recommends legal reform in Qatar
Progress on workers ‘welfare and workers’ rights achieved by Qatar before the hosting of the Qatar World Cup 2022 was commended during a seminar organized next to the International Labor Conference in Geneva. Ahead of the FIFA World Cup, a new wage bill has already led to an increase of 280,000 workers’ wages and a law has been enacted to deal with overheating.
Staff changes include new rules regarding overtime pay, termination and conditions of employment for domestic workers, the establishment of 14 new Qatar Visa Centers in a few indigenous countries, and the establishment of joint committees to facilitate employee participation in companies. Qatar’s Minister of Labor H E Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al-Marri, who was elected Deputy President of the International Labor Conference in May held an event organized to mark the transformation. For more to know about Football World Cup tickets Click here.
ITUC Secretary-General Sharan Burrow, who initially strongly criticized Qatar’s labor program, said workers could no longer do justice in Qatar. Qatari changes to labor laws have been significant. Labor laws are not just an agreement, they are legal and there is a system of compliance, labor courts.
Kafala’s modern-day slave system is dead, there are labor laws, there is progress, and even domestic workers in the country face discrimination, he said. Moussa Oumarou, ILO’s Deputy Director-General for Field Operations and Partnerships, said the modernization of labor laws has improved working conditions in Qatar.
We want progress on labor reform to be a positive image in Qatar beyond the World Cup, he said. Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General of the IOE, added. Qatar has opened up opportunities to negotiate with international organizations and international partners, which has helped to strengthen trust.
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