MAY DAY 2018: Community Leaders Forum in Qatar

 

April 30 2018 - On the eve of May Day in Doha, close to 200 participants attended the BWI “Community Leaders Forum on Workers’ Welfare in the Construction and Allied Sectors” in Doha, Qatar.

The Forum provided an interface between migrant community leaders with representatives of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA), ILO, and the Global Trade Unions on pertinent issues of concern of migrant workers residing in Qatar.

Mr. Mohamed Al-Obaidly, Chief of Labour Branch, of the Ministry of ADLSA responded to questions raised by community leaders regarding the proposed labour law changes in Qatar. He also provided updates including mechanism of the Dispute Resolutions Committee, creation of the Workers Support Fund and their work with the Ministry of Interior to prevent retaliation of workers who file complaints.

Ambet Yuson, General Secretary, BWI, who facilitated the Forum, stated, “The Qatari Government has ushered in a number of changes in policy and legislative framework aimed to safeguard rights of the migrant workers. The recent opening of the ILO office here in Doha indicates big strides forward and fuels the hope that these changes shall soon get implemented and reflected at the ground level. We have good cooperation with the Ministry of ADLSA and hope for continued collaboration to improve lives of migrant workers in Qatar.”

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC and the head of the ITUC-Global Union mission to Qatar, in her solidarity greetings congratulated everyone and expressed confidence that the proposed labour reforms will be implemented in Qatar. The mission members present were Eddy Stan of UNI Global, Elizabeth Tang of IDWF and Binda Pandey, GEFONT.

Houtan Homayounpour, Head of the Project Office briefly outlined the key missions and work of the ILO Project Office for the State of Qatar which had its official opening on 29th of April as part of the three-year technical cooperation agreement between the ILO and the State of Qatar. Also representing the ILO was Corinne Vargha, Director of International Labour Standards Department and Alix Nair, Technical Specialist.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC and the head of the ITUC-Global Union mission to Qatar, in her solidarity greetings congratulated everyone and expressed confidence that the proposed labour reforms shall get implemented in Qatar. The mission members present at the Forum included Eddy Stan of UNI Global, Elizabeth Tang of IDWF and Binda Pandey, GEFONT.

In addition to community leaders and workers from India, Nepal, Philippines, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, also in attendance were representatives from the NHRC, Qatar; labour attaches from Philippines and Indonesia; and prominent lawyers and workers’ rights activists.

.