BWI shares best practices at Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment
Sharing various initiatives to promote the responsible recruitment of migrant workers in Qatar’s construction industry, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson called on the country’s hospitality industry, particularly hotels that will be used for the 2022 World Cup, to adopt the same efforts to secure labour rights.
At the Global forum on Responsible Recruitment which opened on 14 April, Yuson narrated BWI’s rich experience in engaging the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), Qatar’s Ministry of Labour, the European and Qatari construction companies, and major contractors and subcontractors to promote migrant workers’ rights in the construction of the World Cup stadium and other related infrastructure projects. He called the SC universal reimbursement program, BWI’s framework agreement with the French construction company, VINCI, and the BWI-SC joint inspections as some of the “best practices” Qatar’s hospitality industry can adopt.
“Charging recruitment fees is illegal under Qatar's Labour Law. Yet, thousands of migrant workers are made to pay recruitment fees in their home countries before coming to Qatar. Under the SC reimbursement program, more than QAR 100 million in recruitment fees will be reimbursed to 48,412 migrant workers. 252 contractors have committed to reimburse workers, with 11 contractors extending its reimbursement scheme to non-SC workers,” Yuson explained.
Yuson said BWI’s framework agreement with VINCI improved the working and living conditions of its migrant workers in Qatar, and secured its commitment to ethical recruitment. “VINCI greatly improved it recruitment practices by hiring more 50 percent of its workers directly. This is exceptional in the construction industry. At the same time, we secured fair recruitment in the company’s supply chain: no costs in the entire recruitment process, no unjust recruitment fees, and reduction of intermediaries in the recruitment process,” he said.
Yuson added that an assessment of the implementation of VINCI's two-year fair recruitment program remarkably reduced recruitment fees and other costs from USD 3,000 to USD 240, with 93 percent of workers not paying any single fee.
On BWI’s joint inspection with SC, Yuson said that more than 18 joint inspections of World Cup stadium construction sites and workers’ accommodations were conducted which looked at the health and safety conditions of workplaces, enforcement of decent accommodation and other related facilities, and compliance to workers’ welfare standards, including recruitment.
“The joint inspections took a more collaborative and problem-solving approach, instead of resorting to mere policing. It has a strong international character as BWI affiliates sent their union experts, safety officers and inspectors to be part of the inspection team. As a result, corrective measures were made on the spot. All parties also convened after each and every inspection to make collective evaluations and plans of action, and provide appropriate remedies,” Yuson said.
The Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment is a thought leadership platform for accelerating the fair, ethical, and responsible recruitment of migrant workers. For this year, the event is hosted by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), International Labour Organization (ILO), and International Organization for Migration (IOM).
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