Qatar pledges to guarantee wage coverage and support for migrant workers during the epidemic

Qatar pledges to guarantee wage coverage and support for migrant workers during the epidemic

© Supplied by La Tribune

As the country prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, it is forced to stop the progress of its pharaonic work. Regularly used in communication and destabilization operations aimed at pointing fingers at the conditions of workers in Qatar in the context of the construction of football stadiums, Qatar nevertheless acts when none of the neighboring countries has taken such measures to guarantee security and containment funding.

It seems that the stake in the 2022 Football World Cup that it organizes has a lot to do with it, but also that the mounting criticism concerning the working conditions of stadium workers, has helped Qatar to have a new horse battle for several years: install the embryo of a labor law nonexistent in the region in his own country until then. To settle on Doha is to forget that not a country all around is no longer at the forefront. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia would do well to do the same.

Back in full force on the world stage while his Saudi rival is in turmoil seeking by all means to increase its resources even if it means endangering the whole world by the increase in its oil production, Qatar is trying to maintain its pioneering role in this area among the other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is the result of a long process for Doha. After the partial abandonment of the “Kafala” in 2016 and then definitive in 2019, this system of sponsorship of the foreign worker by his employer, Qatar sought to change the rights of the worker. Until then, the latter depended on the goodwill of his sponsor who was then legally responsible on all counts. With the arrival of the International Labor Organization in April 2018 which opened an office in Doha, with which the country works closely, regulations are being developed, even if bad practices persist. It will be precisely one of the objectives of the Office on the spot: to create the law on the one hand and to make it apply to overcome bad practices and traditions and bad old reflexes.

With all the spotlight on him until at least 2022, Qatar has no other choice and cannot hide anything. The World Cup must be perfect: he and his neighbors do not support the mediocrity in terms of the organization of international events, often become great references like WISE in Doha (World International Summit on Education), or IDEX, the trade fair for military armaments in Abu Dhabi. So, to go further, and this in accordance with the country’s development strategy which aims to diversify the economy but also to produce sustainable development, the International Labor Organization (ILO) intends to put in place guarantees, insurance, schedules, contracts to international standards and overall protection of employees. The protection of workers during this terrible epidemic is one of the first concrete elements for the application of this new vision of work in the Gulf. Neighboring countries would probably be forced to follow suit.


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