New IFA - Significant Progress in Protecting the Rights of Migrant Construction Work

23 January 2018 13:43


The construction industry in Qatar is an important part of the country’s economic development and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The sector relies on migrant workers who everywhere in the world are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Our organisations believe we can best live up to expectations through a joint and historic engagement for carrying out projects in Qatar.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) call for business to respect national laws as well as international human rights standards in all aspects of their operations. Our organisations - one of the world’s largest construction companies and our partner company responsible on the ground, along with the world’s most representative trade union organisation for construction workers - believe we can best live up to those expectations through a joint and historic engagement for carrying out projects in Qatar.

In November 2017, Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), VINCI, a French-based global construction and concessions company, and QDVC, a Qatari company formed by VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Qatari Diar, signed an agreement covering construction carried out by QDVC in Qatar. This agreement, signed in the presence of ILO Director General Guy Ryder, applies to all QDVC operations in Qatar.

BWI has global framework agreements with 22 multinational enterprises, most of which are in construction.

This is the first agreement involving BWI tailored to the specific circumstances of one country, Qatar, and signed with a local partner, QDVC. The agreement complements the commitments on rights and working conditions covered by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between BWI and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body charged by the Government of Qatar to build the World Cup 2022 facilities.

By Jin Sook Lee, Gender & Campaign Director, Building and Wood Workers' International, Sarah Tesei, Director of Social Innovation and Human Rights, VINCI - Institute for Human Rights and Business