The Solidarity Center partners with the National Human Rights Committee 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. In the last ten years, as global oil prices expanded to reach $140 a barrel in 2008, a rapid accumulation of wealth drove an astonishing investment and development boom in the GCC. The resulting proliferation of high-profile construction projects has attracted wide international attention, and contributed to significant growth in infrastructure and civic projects, but also revealed the extent of the direct exploitation of the millions of low-wage workers employed in the dangerous and dirty jobs in manufacturing, construction, cleaning services, and domestic work. The vast majority of these private sector employees are migrant workers from South and South-East Asia.
Workers in Qatar gained the right to organize and bargain collectively in 2005. However, in light of the large migrant worker population, the requirement for 100 Qatari nationals at unionized worksites has meant that in practice, workers’ right to organize is severely restricted. To date no evidence exists of union formation. Restricted freedom of association, gender- and nationality-based discrimination, and inadequate legal protections are cross-regional challenges affecting each of the GCC States. The Solidarity Center supports the work of its primary partner in Qatar, the National Human Rights Committee, in its efforts to advance the human rights of Qatari national and migrant workers.
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. While Qatar still has a long way to go in meeting international labor standards, especially when it comes to migrant workers, there are already some encouraging signs coming out of the country. The Qatar Foundation recently unveild a set of detailed standards for the treatment of the potentially hundreds of thousands of migrant workers hired by the foundation, its contractors, and all subcontracting agencies to build the infrastructure for the event.
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. The NHRC is the only non-governmental organization in the country dealing with labor-related issues. The MOU, signed on November 1, 2011, continues a groundbreaking partnership begun in 2009.
Solidarity Center, Qatari Human Rights Committee Sign Historic Agreement
. 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
. 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.
Solidarity Center Provides Worker Perspective at GCC Leadership Summit
. Solidarity Center and AFL-CIO senior staff spoke to more than 50 policymakers, government officials, HR directors, senior managers and consultants, developers, suppliers, bankers, and global union leaders at a groundbreaking leadership summit on corporate social responsibility in the Gulf Cooperation Council construction industry, held June 18, 2008 in Dubai, UAE.
Qatari National Human Rights Committee Visits Solidarity Center
. On June 10, 2008, the Solidarity Center hosted the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar for an important exchange on worker rights.
Hope for Migrant Workers in Gulf States
. The Solidarity Center is part of an effort that brings together union, employer, and government representatives to improve working conditions for migrants in the Gulf States.
Solidarity Center Organizes Groundbreaking Migrant Worker Rights Panel at ILO Meeting
. A groundbreaking panel discussion on migrant worker issues, co-hosted by the Solidarity Center and the International Trade Union Confederation on June 13, 2007, during the International Labor Conference in Geneva, drew a standing-room-only crowd.
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