Qatar has made great progress in reforming its labour system

  • South Africa
  • 11/01/2018
  • The Guardian Law

Pete Pattisson’s article (Migrants claim recruiters lured them into forced labour at top Qatar hotel, 29 October) fails to acknowledge the progress Qatar has made in reforming its labour system and attempts to portray Qatar as ambivalent to the plight of our migrant workforce. This is simply not true. The State of Qatar has been working to overhaul our labour system so that all employees in Qatar are protected by the best possible employment laws and regulations. To put this into figures, in the first half of 2018 the State of Qatar carried out over 19,000 labour inspections, banned almost 12,000 companies due to not addressing the laws, and added almost 230,000 electronic contracts to prevent against contract substitution. In addition, Qatar is working with the International Labour Organisation and countries of origin to eliminate employment fees at source. In the coming months, Qatar will open 20 visa processing centres in eight countries as part of these efforts.

October also saw the removal of exit permits for the majority of overseas workers – another major step in our reform process. Despite these changes, Qatar understands that we will need to be vigilant in enforcing our new laws, and where violations of the law occur, workers are encouraged to report these and have multiple mechanisms to do so. This is why we viewed the claims made in the article with such concern and Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs has announced an investigation into these claims.
Thamer Al Thani
Media attaché for the UK, Government communications office of the State of Qatar