Gilbert F. Houngbo, International Labour Organization Director-General, held talks with senior Qatari officials and migrant worker representatives over a two-day trip to Doha, concluding “I commend the State of Qatar for the progress that has been made in the past few years. Many lessons can be drawn from these labour reforms – for other countries and also for ILO operations,” said the ILO Director-General.
The ILO and Qatar have had a technical cooperation programme since 2017 which has resulted in an extensive range of labour reforms, including changes to the ‘kafala’ employment sponsorship system, the introduction of a minimum wage for all workers, an online labour complaints platform, labour courts, and the establishment of enterprise worker-management committees with elected migrant worker representatives.
There have also been improvements to health and safety at work, including location-specific restrictions on daytime working hours to combat heat stress during the summer.
Houngbo also participated in a discussion on the future of work and United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 (on decent work and economic growth). “Migrants play a key role in the economic, social and cultural development of their host countries and their communities back home” the ILO Director-General reiterated.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino also met with the ILO delegation stating, “the strengthening of the relationship of FIFA and the ILO is also part of the FIFA World Cup 2022, namely via the Legacy Fund that we will create and that will be dedicated to workers throughout the world”.