Qatar has reaffirmed its interest in the promotion and protection of human rights and stressed that it has spared no effort to improve and develop labour laws.
This came in a statement delivered by HE the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the UN, ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani, at the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Establishment of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
She said that in line with the Qatar's policy to promote human rights, it has spared no effort to improve and develop labour laws, the living standards and provide a decent life for labourers. She reiterated Qatar's keenness to deal with this issue with transparency that reflects its commitment to international labour standards and expatriate labour who contributed to the process of construction and development witnessed by the State.
In this context, HE Sheikha Alya noted the legislative and executive measures taken by the government of Qatar to ensure the protection and promotion of the human rights of expatriate workers, namely the promulgation of laws to implement many reforms related to labour laws and regulations, including the abolition of the sponsorship system, referring to Law 13 of 2018 issued by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, which was welcomed and commended by the ILO, and which guarantees the promotion of the rights of expatriate workers and the implementation of a contractual system in line with international labour instruments.
Sheikha Alya noted that many bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding have been signed by Qatar with the countries sending labourers to provide legal protection for expatriate workers. She also referred to the establishment of the Workers' Support and Insurance Fund to secure their rights and to provide a healthy and safe work environment for them, in accordance with Law No 17 of 2018, explaining that the establishment of this fund stems from Qatar's keenness to protect the rights of workers and ensure their access to their financial dues.
HE Sheikha Alya commended the ILO's important and effective role in promoting rights, social protection and decent work opportunities, noting the existing co-operation between Qatar and the ILO. She referred to the opening of the ILO project office after the signing of the technical co-operation agreement with the organisation.
HE Sheikha Alya added that the technical co-operation project reflects the commitment of the government of Qatar and the ILO to co-operate to ensure compliance with the international labour agreements to which Qatar is a party as well as to realise fundamental principles and rights related to work in Qatar through several areas, among them improving labour inspection and occupational safety and health systems, increasing prevention, protection and prosecution against forced labour, and giving voice to workers as an essential party in the work equation.
She added that this project clearly reflects the efforts of the government of Qatar to implement many reforms related to labour laws and regulations, as well as to provide additional guarantees that promote and protect the rights of workers.
She did not miss the opportunity to emphasise the need to ensure equality and non-discrimination in women's access to decent work, equal pay and participation in the labour market, adding that this was of great importance, especially since women disproportionately bore the most precarious working conditions, including low wage levels.
Sheikha Alya said the changes in the world of work and the rapid changes in technology require investment in the development of digital skills, taking into account the needs of specific groups who suffer from discrimination, providing equal conditions and decent work, which are all essential elements for sustainable economic growth, and the formation of 'the future of work'.
Concluding, she stressed that Qatar would continue to make every effort to enable the ILO to carry out its tasks and achieve the objectives sought by the international community, ensuring the implementation of the international labor instruments.
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