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Worker welfare standards soar to top of agenda for Qatar authorities

: Sunday, February 23 - 2014 @ 10:43

As worker welfare standards continue to cause debate within the Middle East construction sector, Qatari officials and key industry stakeholders are looking to take the lead in driving new standards and best practice in the run up to the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

In recent months there has been much debate and concern raised over the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar. Whilst this has highlighted serious issues and cases, it has also pushed the topic to the top of the agenda for government authorities, contractors and consultants looking to take a stance and re-emphasize their commitment to ensuring quality conditions for its workforce.

Amnesty International in their November 2013 report stated that “Companies – both Qatari and international – need to play a much more active role in preventing the kinds of abuses documented by Amnesty International. This means looking beyond their own employees and developing policies to ensure that people working on their projects – including people working for subcontractors and suppliers – are not subjected to abusive working conditions. To do that, they need to put in place robust systems and processes, and then implement them. No-one should be under any illusions that this will require a culture change.”

The release of Qatar Foundations Migrant Worker Welfare standards in July last year has been serving as a benchmark for other authorities in Qatar to build their own worker standards. The Qatar Foundation standards look at the holistic cycle of migrant workers from recruitment and relocation of workers, housing and social welfare as well as onsite construction safety and training.

“Organizations are now looking to pioneer the importance of migrant worker welfare and take a leading stance to the industry on their commitment to this cause” said Puja Pankhania, Divisional Director Construction & Infrastructure, IQPC Middle East.

“Of course, the real test will be in the implementation of these initiatives and standards where the role of contractors and consultants will be critical in driving change and progress in Qatar.”

With this in mind IQPC is hosting the 2nd Annual Health, Safety & Worker Welfare Summit in Doha on May 19-20. The event will serve as a platform to discuss industry initiatives, best practices and solutions to safeguarding worker standards in Qatar’s construction sector.

Representatives from NGOs, government, developers, contractors and consultants will unite to discuss strategies that will tackle key worker issues in the construction industry.


Puja Pankhania
Divisional Director
IQPC Middle East
+971 4 364 2975

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Sunday, February 23- 2014 @ 10:43 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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