Qatar is making progress toward improving conditions for migrant workers, but the test will be when the new legislation is enforced from December, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said yesterday.
A high-level ILO team who visited Qatar this month said any decision to appoint a commission of inquiry should be put off for a year to allow time to implement the reforms.
The team’s report and recommendations will be debated at the ILO’s governing body today, spokesman Hans von Rohland said.
In the report, the ILO mission said it “acknowledges the recent concrete measures taken by the government and other interlocutors” it met in Qatar to improve migrants’ working conditions.
Yet “certain challenges remain and the implementation of the measures to overcome them are still under way,” said the report by the team led by Japanese ambassador Misako Kaji and including representatives of governments, employers and workers’ groups.
From December, a new Qatari law abolishes the “kafala” sponsorship system for migrant workers in favour of a labour contract system.
A worker will no longer be forced to continue a job if there is abuse or exploitation, although domestic workers are excluded from this provision, the report said.
The ILO mission, the second in two years, met various ministers, the CEO of Qatar Petroleum and workers’ groups, mostly from the Philippines and Nepal. It visited sites including Khalifa Stadium, a major construction site ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
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