All should join govt’s efforts to ensure workers’ welfare
October 12 2017 01:05 AM
Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka, Editor-in-Chief

By Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka/Editor-in-Chief

As an emerging country with an ambitious, crystal-clear and development roadmap, Qatar has invested a lot in the building and transformation of the country into a modern state. The roadmap, dubbed Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030), entails heavy investment in various sectors and infrastructure. Major projects were announced of which some have already been completed, with yet more in the pipeline. Workers from around the world who contribute to the realisation of these projects send an estimated $12bn annually to their home countries.
Qatar is fully aware that without its expat manpower almost nothing is achievable, and that is why the state has been steadily investing in human development for a long time now. In fact, one of the main four pillars of QNV2030 is investment in human development.
During the period spanning from the discovery of oil to the announcement of QNV2030, Qatar has gone through major phases of rapid development in many fields and areas, ranging from health, economy, education, commerce, laws, etc. As a result, scores of foreign companies, corporations, contractors and other entrepreneurs came to seize whatever investment opportunity they could find. Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers were brought in and trained in the country. 
Accordingly, new laws and regulations were issued to ensure safe working and living conditions in Qatar. Those new laws and regulations were precisely guided and directed towards safeguarding the human rights of the indispensable foreign workers.
Qatar has never denied the fact that its expat manpower is an integral part of the social fabric. In fact, I remember seeing during my school years expats working on infrastructure projects in the country. Roads, schools, houses, hospitals, and more were all built by those expats whom we consider as one of our main sources required towards realisation of the QNV2030. 
Hence, a lot of attention has been directed towards these  workers and their rights protection. For years now, the government has been issuing laws to prevent their exploitation and unjust treatment.
Law No 21 of 2015 regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates was introduced to guarantee the smooth movement of foreign workers in the country. The system of sponsorship (Kafala) was repealed and replaced with a contract-based system governed by law. Many other provisions were also included in other state laws to guarantee the safety and welfare of expats.
To be fair, the State has been doing everything possible and paying all required attention to those expats who are working hard for the sake of my country. Hence, the shortfalls may be attributed to a few unscrupulous employers, who need to review their practices to fall in line with the country’s policies.
The government has been and will keep monitoring the condition of expatriates in Qatar and issue regulations to further guarantee the welfare of its manpower; it will be desirable for the employers to familiarise themselves with  the salient features of QNV2030 and invest as much as possible in human development. This will help in improved productivity and elimination of any rights violation.
The accomplishment of QNV2030 involves hard work and dedication; we should all help and invest more in human resources development efforts led by our government to do everything possible to further protect and guarantee the welfare of the country’s workforce, especially the expats. Well, when some employers falter that may lead to rights violations, which in turn would affect the reputation of the country; again this may be one of the prices to be paid for  rapid development.

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By Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka/Editor-in-Chief

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