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Home > Where We Work > Middle East & North Africa > Qatar
Qatar
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The Solidarity Center partners with the National Human Rights Committee (QNHRC) to advance basic rights at work for migrant and Qatari workers through capacity-building programs and cross-border exchanges.

Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional economic and trade alliance founded in 1981. As international energy commodity costs have skyrocketed, so has the investment in numerous Gulf States, especially Qatar. The resulting proliferation of high-profile construction projects has significant boosted infrastructure projects. This boon has also revealed the extent of the direct exploitation of the millions of low-wage workers employed in dangerous and difficult jobs such as manufacturing, construction, cleaning services and domestic work. The vast majority of these private-sector employees are migrant workers from South Asia and South-East Asia.

Workers in Qatar gained the right to form unions and bargain collectively in 2005. But the government requires 100 Qatari nationals be part of a worksite union before it can be officially recognized. Because of the large migrant worker population, workers’ right to organize is effectively restricted and to date, no unions have been formed. Restricted freedom of association, gender- and nationality-based discrimination and inadequate legal protections are cross-regional challenges affecting each of the GCC states. Yet with Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, the nation has reexamined its labor policies and embarked upon a plan to establish and enforce migrant worker rights in the country.

Since the Solidarity Center launched its programs in Qatar in 2008, it has supported the work of its primary partner, the National Human Rights Committee (QNHRC), as it looks to educate migrant workers on their rights and prevent worker exploitation. The QNHRC has already begun to take a leading role in international arenas to combat human trafficking for labor and set up international cooperation for rights advocates. 


Qatar Foundation Releases Standards for Migrant Workers. May 16, 2013—The 2022 World Cup competition in Qatar may be nine years away, but the tiny nation is already making plans to improve the country’s infrastructure and image.

Solidarity Center, Qatari Human Rights Group Renew Partnership. November 10, 2011—The Solidarity Center and the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar (NHRC) signed a two-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at supporting the NHRC's work to protect worker rights, including the country's vast migrant worker population.

Solidarity Center, Qatari Human Rights Committee Sign Historic Agreement. March 19, 2009—On March 17, 2009, the Solidarity Center and the Qatar National Human Rights Committee signed a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding in Doha aimed at strengthening cooperation around human and worker rights issues and fighting human trafficking.

Qatari National Human Rights Committee Pays Return Visit. March 2, 2009—On February 20, 2009, the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar cemented its relationship with the Solidarity Center in its second visit in less than a year.

Qatari National Human Rights Committee Visits Solidarity Center. June 26, 2008--On June 10, 2008, the Solidarity Center hosted the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar for an important exchange on worker rights.

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Program Partners
  • National Human Rights Committee (NHRC)
  • Qatar Foundation to Combat Trafficking in Humans (QFCTH)
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