Qatar has paid close attention to the rights and duties of both workers and employers and is committed to providing due care and protection to workers in the country, HE the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Yousuf bin Mohamed al-Othman Fakhro said Wednesday.
He made the observation while speaking at an International Workers' Day Celebration ceremony held in Doha Wednesday by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA).
HE Yousuf bin Mohamed al-Othman Fakhro addressing the gathering in Doha
Present on the occasion were a number of dignitaries, including senior government officials, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), representatives of private companies and non-government organisations and members of expatriate communities.
HE the Minister stressed that Qatar has always been keen to provide its workforce with a safe and stable work environment that enhances production while protecting their rights as well as health and safety. This has been incorporated in its permanent constitution and national vision, which aims to achieve sustainable development and secure honourable living and decent work for all - whether citizens or expatriates.
He said Qatar has been witnessing comprehensive progress in all areas, including the economic, developmental and social fields. This, in turn, has attracted a large number of expatriate workers who become a part of this development. Also, the country exerts constant efforts to introduce the necessary reforms and legislative tools to further improve the local labour market and guarantee the protection of all stakeholders.
HE the Minister noted that the implementation of the second phase of the National Development Strategy (2018-2022) entails various projects such as developing the wage protection system, determining minimum wage, attracting skilled workers and guaranteeing that workers' voice is heard through improving complaint mechanisms. These are in addition to the creation of joint workers' committees, enhancing the capabilities of labour inspectors and conducting media and awareness campaigns, among other initiatives, to guarantee the full protection of both workers and employers.
He the Minister said the celebration of the International Workers' Day this year coincides with the 100th anniversary of the establishment of ILO. On the occasion, he praised ILO's role and fruitful co-operation through the technical agreement between Qatar and the organisation, resulting in the implementation of various related projects, plans and programmes and achievement of a number of tangible goals on the ground.
ILO had opened a technical office in Qatar a year ago to help the country make the necessary improvements in the field.
HE the Minister accordingly thanked all workers in the country, expatriates and citizens for their positive role in Qatar's progress.
Sheikh Thani bin Ali al-Thani, chairman of the organising committee for the International Workers' Day Celebration ceremony, stressed that the private sector has maintained active partnership with the public sector under the umbrella of Qatar Chamber to enhance workers' rights in the country.
Besides, the MADLSA has intensified its inspection efforts and enhanced co-ordination with the related entities from all sectors to further ensure effective workers' protection. All such efforts have been documented in a book on Qatari achievements in the protection of workers' rights and the ILO's 100th anniversary". The book was launched by HE the Minister at the event.
Corinne Vargha, director of International Labour Standards at ILO, praised the effective and open co-operation between Qatar and the organisation, especially the opening of an ILO office in the country. This is considered a milestone in upholding the ILO's standards in maintaining a fair, safe and healthy work environment for all regardless of gender and nationality.
She stressed that one of the key aims of ILO is to not leave anybody behind - irrespective of whatever his or her situation might be - and Qatar has made great strides in this regard. For instance, Qatar Red Crescent Society and Qatar Charity have provided shelter and protection to vulnerable expatriate workers.
Similarly, Mthunzi Mdwaba, vice-chairperson of the ILO governing body, appreciated Qatar's various advancements and praised the construction of some of its unique stadiums. He also talked about the role and history of ILO and lauded the work being undertaken by the Doha ILO office in the protection of workers' rights.
HE the Minister, alongside Sheikh Thani and other senior officials, gave away excellence awards in the labour field to distinguished companies, individuals and organisations in recognition of their positive efforts.