Doha: May 9, 2018
The National Human Rights Committee organized a workshop on “Labor Rights in the State of Qatar and the Entry and Exit Law” for employees of the Human Rights Department, the General Administration of Passports and the Ministry of Labor, Administrative Development and Social Affairs; with a view to identify international and regional labor rights mechanisms. The workshop highlights the international context of workers’ rights from the perspective of international conventions and treaties, as well as the role of NGOs and civil society in promoting and protecting workers’ rights. In addition, it focus on the national framework for workers’ rights in the State of Qatar and in particular the legal frameworks regulating them.
Dr. Mohammed Seif Al-Kuwari, member of the National Human Rights Committee, said that Qatar is a country that has a strong track record in promoting and protecting workers’ rights in view of Qatar’s dependence on large numbers of expatriate workers who continue to achieve economic growth and improve its infrastructure. Al-Kuwari said: “the state’s concern for the promotion of workers’ rights is reflected in a number of changes to the policies and amendments to the laws related to the rights of workers and work conditions in order to achieve the greatest possible guarantees of decent work with a labor-based approach, as well as health care and safety in workplaces, in addition to achieving the necessary stability regarding their legal status and residence in the country in full conformity with international charters and instruments and the permanent constitution of the State of Qatar. Al-Kuwari added that this framework focuses on legal and political frameworks related to the rights of workers in the State of Qatar, in particular Law No. (21) of 2015 regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence.
In the same context, the workshop tackled a number of themes; including, during the first session the international framework for workers ‘rights and the international and regional mechanisms for protecting workers’ rights presented by Ms. Hala Al Ali, legal advisor at the NHRC, the rights of workers in international conventions and treaties, presented by Dr. Yehia Konstantinides, assistant professor of law and human rights specialist at the Faculty of Law, Qatar University and the role of the International Labor Organization, NGOs and civil society in the promotion and protection of rights presented by Mr. Abdul Samad Sukkar, Research and Studies Expert, Police College. In the second session, the workshop discussed the national framework for workers’ rights and the labor law in Qatar and the guarantees provided to the worker presented by Dr. Fawzi Balkanani, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Law at Qatar University and Professor of Labor Law, as well as a reading in Law No. (21) of 2015 concerning the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence and role in promoting the rights of workers in the State of Qatar presented by Mr. Ahmed Abdullah Al-Subaie, the Association of Qatari Lawyers. In its third session, the workshop reviewed the situation of workers ‘rights in Qatar as well as its review of the assessment of the situation of workers’ rights in the report of the NHRC in Qatar according to the latest report and statistics on complaints submitted by Ms. Rania Fouad Jadallah, legal expert at the NHRC. In addition to the human rights situation in the State of Qatar, the progress achieved and shortcomings in terms of policies and procedures were reviewed by representatives of the inspection department under the Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Wahid Al-Obaidli and Ms. Iman Al-Ishaq.