Qataris Told on Radio: Don't Exploit Workers by not Paying Their Salaries and Mistreating Them

Qatar is reporting labor disputes to the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva annually. This was disclosed by a senior official of the Department of Labor, Abdullah Al Mohannadi, in a talk on Qatar Radio yesterday.

The Department is receiving around eight to 13 complaints from laborers on an average a day. On some days, the number could be more, he said.

"We are forwarding these statistics (of complaints) to the ILO every year," added Al Mohannadi.

Taking part with him in the talk was Sheikh Mohamed bin Jassem Al Thani, Head of the Search and Follow-up Department at the Ministry of Interior. He said that the absence of a law to protect the rights of housemaids is contributing to the rise in the number of dispute between them and their employers.

"The employers should realise that these workers have left their families and homes and they are here to help them. They should not exploit them by not paying their salaries and mistreating them," he said.

"You should encourage these people (domestic workers) to be a part of your family … you should know that mistreating them could lead to catastrophe for the whole family," said Sheikh Mohammed.

The new Labor Law (No-14 of 2004) does not cover domestic workers such as drivers, maids, cooks and others and there is no law that regulates their work or duty hours.

Under the circumstances, the Search and Follow-up Department transfers an aggrieved household worker to concerned security department to resolve their woe.

Sheikh Mohammed said there is a plan under study to have a close coordination between his department and at the National Office for Combating Trafficking in Humans (NOCTH).

"Recently, we met Mariam Al Malki, the coordinator of NOCTH and agreed to transfer all the cases that meet the criteria of human trafficking to them," he said.

There is no case of human trafficking reported so far as regards domestic workers. "We conduct searches in all the cases which are reported to us we have with us but none concerned human trafficking so far.

He, however, admitted that there are cases of violence against the domestic workers.

Source: The Peninsula