Qatar commits to protecting rights of Indian labourers

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New Delhi, May 6

In wake of deaths and allegations of human right violations of labourers in the country since it won the bid to host FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar on Friday assured to protect and promote rights of thousands of Indian labourers working there.

Every year, hundreds of complaints, ranging from pending salaries and contract problems to imprisonment and repatriation, are registered in the Indian embassy.

There have been 6,750 deaths of south Asian migrants nearly in a decade (from 2011 to 2020) after Qatar was, in 2010, awarded the right to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.A

As per the available figures from 2011 to 2020, a total of 2,711 Indian labourers died in Qatar. Further, as per the data available from the embassy, as many as 10,535 labourers filed complaints with the Indian Embassy in Doha between 2016 and 2019, ranging from pending salaries and contract problems to imprisonment and repatriation.

Qatar made the commitment during the seventh Joint working committee meeting between India and Qatar on Labour and Manpower Development, held from May 4 to May 5 at New Delhi.

The Indian delegation was led by Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary (OIA-I), Ministry of External Affairs and the Qatari delegation was led by Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidly, Assistant Undersecretary for Labour Affairs, Ministry of Labour.

Both sides held fruitful and productive discussions on a wide range of issues related to labour and manpower mobility. The Indian side welcomed the progressive labour reform measures adopted by Qatar over the past years.

The Qatari side appreciated the contribution of the Indian migrant workforce in the socio-economic development and infrastructure building in their country.

"Qatari side reiterated their commitment towards the protection and promotion of labour rights. Both sides agreed to adopt an integrated approach to promote the welfare and well-being of workers, including streamlining recruitment and to enhance co-operation for time-bound resolution of issues of mutual concern. In this context both agreed to work towards integrating the recruitment portals," the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The Qatari delegation also visited the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Delhi. Both sides had useful exchanges of views on furthering co-operation in skills training and certification. The visiting delegation also held discussions with the representatives of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA).

It was agreed to hold the next round of Joint Working Group meeting in Qatar at mutually convenient dates.


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