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Qatar – Recruitment agreement signed with 30 countries

15 October 2013

Qatar has signed recruitment agreements with 30 countries in order to source manpower for the current infrastructure projects boom, according to constructionweekonline.com. The announcement was made during the opening of the Grand Mall Hypermarket in Mesaimeer.

His Excellency Abdullah Saleh Mubarak Al Khulaifi, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, said: “We want to bring in workers from different manpower-exporting countries, especially with the huge investments that the state intends to pump into a large number of infrastructure projects over the next decade that will cost billions of dollars.”

Mana Ibrahim Al Mana, chairman of Qatar Asset Management and manager of the West End Park added the project had plans to build a housing complex for workers as well as families, which will accommodate about 70,000 people and is expected to be completed next year, the report added.

A delegation from an international labour federation recently completed its inspection of migrant workers in Qatar, saying immediate steps are need to protect labourers.

"Bolder steps are needed now, not in the future," said a statement by the Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI) federation.

Among its recommendations are that Qatar should prohibit employers from confiscating passports and ban illegal recruitment fees.

It also said the ‘kafala’ system of sponsorship-based employment and the exit visa system that gives employers unchecked power to stop workers from leaving the country should be abolished.

An effective dispute system or labour court to address complaints by migrant workers related to employment contracts, back wages, and other labour disputes was also recommended.

In addition, the BWI also called for imposing ‘meaningful sanctions’ on companies and individuals who violate laws designed to protect migrant workers’ rights.

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