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What’s the story on labour rights in Qatar?18 November 2022
In the run up to the FIFA World Cup, the eyes of the world are on Qatar, the first Middle East country to host the global football tournament. Yet much of the scrutiny is directed not at the event’s sporting aspects, but rather at the labour rights and working conditions of the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who are involved in readying the infrastructure and services needed to host one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
The ILO has been closely involved in supporting a wide range of labour reforms in the country, through a technical cooperation programme with the State of Qatar which began in 2018. The programme has seen Qatar undertake comprehensive labour reforms to improve the conditions and rights of migrant workers, through adopting new legislation, introducing new or improved existing labour administration systems, and enhancing labour relations.
While this is still a work in progress, and there are gaps in implementation, the reforms have already yielded benefits for workers, employers and the economy more broadly.
Max Tuñón, head of the ILO Office in Doha and Chief Technical Adviser of the programme, joins us to discuss the labour reforms in Qatar.