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Qatar committed to protect expatriate workers
January 13 2016 08:25 PM
HE the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi (right) and QU pr
HE the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi (right) and QU pr

Doha

Qatar is committed to provide expatriate workers with protection and the best living standards, HE the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr Abdullah Saleh Mubarak al-Khulaifi has said.

He was speaking at a closed workshop organised by Qatar University's Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (Sesri) to discuss the welfare index of expatriate workers in Qatar, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported yesterday.

"The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is working to review its strategic plan in line with Qatar National Vision 2030, which urges establishing the best environment for labour, underlining the role of Sesri in assisting the Ministry to achieve its plan through the index," he stated.

HE al-Khulaifi pointed to some aspects that should be monitored through the index such as legislation that clarify the rights and duties of the employers and the employees and providing health and safety standards at workplace, employment laws and compliance with regulations of appeals and complaints.

"The Ministry took a number of measures to improve the conditions of expatriate workers, including the development of standards for their housing, increasing the number of health and safety inspectors from 150 to 350, limiting work hours during summer months, and signing agreements with 35 countries of origin to limit the role of intermediary companies."

HE the minister also hailed the abolishing of kafala (sponsorship) system and the issuance of a new law that regulates the entry and exit of expatriates, QNA added.

The event aimed to generate discussion on developing Qatar's first ever index of expatriate workers’ welfare. The index will be based on the findings of a survey of expatriate workers to be conducted by Sesri, in addition to other administrative data. The index will serve as a study on the progress of workers’ welfare and safety in Qatar over time.

HE al-Khulaifi was joined by QU president Dr Hassan Rashid al-Derham, and Sesri director Dr Darwish al-Emadi, as well as ministry officials. Also participating were 25 national and international experts as well as researchers who developed similar indices in various countries.

The programme agenda included presentations delivered by Sesri members -- head of research Dr Abdoulaye Diop, research programme manager Dr Justin Gengler, and senior policy analyst Dr Michael Ewers -- and University of Michigan research professor Dr Michael W Traugott.

Topics included “Developing the Overall Themes of the Guest Workers’ Welfare Index”, “Constructing the Specific Elements of the Guest Workers’ Welfare Index”, “Operationalising of the Selected Themes of the Index – Drafting the Questions”, and “Composing the Index”.

Dr al-Emadi said: “In conducting this study, Sesri continues in its role to address contemporary issues that impact the wider community, and offer sustainable solutions that will contribute to the country’s development and progress. We look forward to the outcomes and recommendations that will emerge from this survey, which will help us enhance guest workers’ living and working conditions.”

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