Qatar labor ministry official outlines plan to tackle worker abuses

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Marco Zanferrari/Flickr

In response to growing criticism over the treatment of low-income expats in Qatar, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has announced a renewed commitment to law enforcement.

“We will not hesitate to take necessary action to protect the rights of expatriate workforce,” Minister Abdullah Saleh Al Khulaifi told reporters at a press conference about Qatar University yesterday.

Qatar has been in the international spotlight for weeks amid an ongoing debate about its 2022 World Cup hosting rights, for both its summer heat and dismal labor record.

Addressing the latter concerns, the minister has spoken of a plan that includes, as reported by Al Sharq:

  • Increasing the number of inspectors who check on companies to ensure they are in compliance with labor laws, related to health, safety, accommodation and salaries;
  • Hiring more translators to better communicate with workers of different nationalities; and
  • Setting up more branch offices of the Labor Department, especially in areas of high concentration of workers, such as the Industrial Area.

If disputes between employers and their charges cannot be resolved, the ministry will continue referring cases to the courts, Al Khulaifi added.

FIFA’s executive committee is expected to meet on Thursday to discuss rescheduling the Cup from the summer to the winter months.

Also on its agenda is the poor treatment of migrant workers here, which has garnered renewed attention after the Guardian published a report last week detailing many abuses against Nepali expats.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Marco Zanferrari

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