Expats considered of pivotal importance to Qatar development

Published:  20 Apr at 6 PM
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Qatari Sultan bin Saad has announced that Qatar's expat workforce is of pivotal importance to the development of the emirate and its present economic boom
In his speech at the opening session of the First UN Asia Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights, His Excellency Sultan bin Saad stressed that Qatar fully appreciates the outstanding efforts of the expat workforce. Expat workers, he said, are major partners in the progress and development of the country.

According to His Excellency, the event organised by the UN’s Working Group for Human Rights and supported by the UN High Commission for Human Rights is important because of Asia’s prominence in global business. Qatar’s hosting of the event reflects the country’s open policy regarding human rights-based events as well as its commitment to business development and human rights protection.

Attendees at the forum included representatives from the commercial sector, non-government and government representatives and several civil society organisations. Matters under discussion will include the negative effect on human rights of commercial activities and how to avoid it, the setting in place of the UN’s principles of human rights in business in Asia and the role of the financial, business and government sectors in promoting human rights.

Key issues to be discussed will include migrant workers’ rights, forced and child labour, human trafficking, labour issues at major sports events and women in the workplace. Speakers at the forum include the International Trade Union Confederation’s general secretary, Sharen Burrow, with Professor John Ruggie advising on labour-related risks and human rights as related to major sporting events.

It’s hoped that the forum will expedite the setting up in Qatar of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as proposed by the United Nations. Awareness of the principles and how they apply to businesses in the emirate is another target of the event, with hopes that companies and governmental agencies will work together to ensure the protection of human rights in the country.
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