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JustHere | August 23, 2017

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Qatar NHRC issues new policy guidelines; Hopes to improve treatment of migrant workers

Qatar NHRC issues new policy guidelines; Hopes to improve treatment of migrant workers

The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) in Qatar has launched two new books on new policy guidelines for workers that are in line with international standards and the Qatari law. These books lay down certain guidelines to be followed by employers in providing accommodation to workers in Qatar, and covers issues pertaining to health, hygiene and safety.

Written by Dr Mohammad Ben Saif Al-Kawari, a member of NHRC, the copies will be distributed to various companies in Qatar, as well as to the Ministry of Labour.

Two years after Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the country has been in the spotlight, and drawing harsh criticism for both its Kafala system and its treatment of low-income migrant workers, and its inability to bring about reforms in labour law and migrant workers’ rights. Read JustHere‘s earlier report here.

According to the Human Rights Watch World report 2013, “Qatar’s Law 14 of 2004, governing labour in the private sector, limits working hours, requires paid annual leave, sets requirements on health and safety, and requires on-time payment of wages each month. However, laws intended to protect workers are rarely enforced.” Read full report here.

Expatriates constitute around 80% of Qatar’s population of 1.9 million, and their numbers will continue to rise in the run-up to World Cup 2022. The majority of these expatriates are single men, on low wages, mainly from sub-continental Asia.

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