For the fourth time in two years, the Community Leaders Forum (CLF) on Workers’ Welfare was convened jointly by Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) and BWI on 8 October 2019. The fourth CLF was specifically geared to the concerns and issues impacting African migrant communities in Qatar. In the previous CLFs, the majority of the participants' migrant community leaders of nationalities with the largest population in Qatar – Indians, Bangladeshi, Nepalese and Filipinos. With the growing population of African migrants in Qatar, this particular CLF was of importance to the MADLSA. national communities, they were specifically targeted to have a dialogue with Ministry officials.
The Community Leaders Forum is a platform for dialogue between representatives of MADLSA and community leaders from the various migrant communities working and living in Qatar. It is at these Forums, that migrants can directly talk to government officials about vital issues of concern to them and more importantly, raise complaints.
In this particular CLF, a migrant worker from Uganda told the Assistant Undersecretary for Labour, Mohammed Hassan al Obaidly that 40 Ugandan migrant workers were basically stranded as their company failed to pay them for the past five months. The Assistant Undersecretary publicly promised to facilitate free sponsorship for the 40 workers.
In addition to dialogue, the Assistant Undersecretary, Mohammed Hassan Al-Obaidly shared recent and coming policy changes including the repeal of the “No Objection Certificate”, introduction of a new minimum wage and further reforms with regards laws and regulations covering domestic workers. In closing the Undersecretary emphasized to the Community Leaders that they all have direct access to his office for anything that needs attention.
The CLF was also co-sponsored by the International Domestic Workers’ Federation (IDWF), UNI Global, International Transport Federation (ITF), and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).