Qatar FM: Country not afraid to fix mistakes on labor rights
A new independent report examining working and living conditions for low-income expats in Qatar will be released soon, the country’s foreign minister said this weekend during an official visit to Germany.
The report was commissioned by Qatar to international firm DLA Piper last fall, following widespread international media coverage of labor abuses here.
According to FM Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, the point of the report is “not to polish the image of Qatar,” but to upgrade the standard of living of its workforce, as required by the nation’s constitution.
QNA reports him as saying:
“The Constitution of the State of Qatar requires the treatment of employees and workers at a level befitting their humanity…
We do not fear that there might be mistakes, but we do not accept that work on the correction of such mistakes is not done, because our main objective is to develop our country to the level which calls for valuable humanity which it always deserves.”
Al Attiyah’s remarks come days after European Parliament officials visited Qatar to observe workers’ accommodations and working conditions.
They told reporters that high-level Qatari officials had promised “deep revisions” of the country’s labor system imminently.
Because Qatar has been talking about reforming its restrictive kafala (sponsorship) system for years, many greeted this news with skepticism.
But Al Attiyah also made a reference to upcoming changes in Germany yesterday, saying:
“Everyone will be astonished for the steps taken by Qatar and what it will be doing to correct mistakes, if there are any.”
It is not clear exactly when DLA Piper’s report will be released to the public. Speaking to Doha News on Thursday, a representative at the firm’s Qatar office said he did not have any details, as the London branch is handling the review. Employees there could not be reached for comment.
Labor abuses in Qatar such as the flouting of construction site safety rules, withholding of passports and unsanitary living conditions have been documented by several international advocacy groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the United Nations.
Qatar officials have responded to these reports with mixed emotions. Some have blasted international media as participating in a “political conspiracy” against the Gulf state, which is hosting the 2022 World Cup.
Others have said changes are afoot – for example, the country is hiring more translators and labor inspectors to ensure the law is being followed, and is also in the process of revamping how workers are paid so that wages are delivered on time.
"We do not fear that there might be mistakes, but we do not accept that work on the correction of such mistakes is not done, because our main objective is to develop our country to the level which calls for valuable humanity which it always deserves.”
The key to achieve this is simple , just follow the Golden rule which taught for centuries
"One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."
ينبغي للمرء ان يعامل الاخرين كما يحب ان يعاملوه
how could these officials sleep even after the abuses . Qatar have to grow up , making big buildings & driving luxury cars is not the development . Being human is the development . Buildings and your cars do not last forever but your humanity is .
The labour who work for 800 riyas in a month being cheated by companies daily , most companies do not care about Labour rules in Qatar . They forced to work over time more than they can perform daily ( otherwise salary will be deducted )and at the end of the month , overtime is being deducted from their salary (OT is based on company rules , no extra percentage )
If one labor take leave just because he is sick , and if he could not get a medical report from Hamad hospital their salary is deducted for 3 days . Whenever these labors went to Hamad hospital in Industrial area for treatment , they being told to go to Doha Hamad Hospital , so they are forced to go nearest Private hospital and paying a huge money from their salary . So companies are not accepting medical report from private hospital , their salary is deducted for 1 day ( 800 monthly salary , 1 days salary deduction , Also paid treatment & medicine charges for private hospital ) . As human being it makes me sick , its like there are moments you really wish if there is a god , even though there is none .
How could you people really close your eyes against this & get over it .
Do you really had a different kind of heart which I missed for myself ?