Global Forum highlights role of business in labour reforms and migration governance

Global Forum on Migration and Development Business Mechanism brings business and government together.

News | 01 October 2019
HE Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs with representatives of employers’ organisations, the diplomatic corps and ILO.
The role of business relating to labour reform and migration governance was discussed at a high-level conference entitled “Business and migration: Strengthening dialogue between the private sector and governments,” which took place in Doha today (1 October 2019).
Held as part of the Global Forum on Migration and Development Business Mechanism the event provided an opportunity for businesses, government and other stakeholders to discuss key labour reforms in the State of Qatar as well as international good practices in migration governance.
The event was hosted by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), in cooperation with the International Organization of Employers (IOE), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Project Office for the State of Qatar.
Speaking at the event, HE Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs said, “Qatar’s ambitious labour reform agenda can only succeed if government and the private sector work hand in hand. Working together will ensure the effectiveness of reforms, consequently benefiting all.”

The forum brought together some 150 members of the business community, government and embassies. Its outcomes will be presented as part of the business contribution to the 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development annual Summit to be held in Ecuador in November 2019.

Rashid Hamad Hazza Al-Athba, Second Vice Chairman, QCCI said, “This important event recognises the commitment of the private sector in Qatar to the goals of the Global Forum on Migration and Development and provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to share their experiences. The State of Qatar has made great strides in promoting labour rights and has adopted several laws and reforms that reflect this commitment to providing a safe and secure working environment.”

Stéphanie Winet, Head of Stakeholder Engagement, International Organization of Employers said, “We welcome the inclusive ongoing labour reform process in the State of Qatar.  I assure you of the interest of the international business community to back this process and to help find strategies that support businesses, migrant workers and governments alike.”

Discussions covered the labour reform process, steps to further improve migrants’ experiences, and the need to create a level playing field for businesses to attract investment to Qatar. Panellists also highlighted innovative practices in improving working and living conditions of workers in the construction sector, while preparing for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Michelle Leighton, Chief of ILO’s Labour Migration Branch, stressed ILO’s commitment to support the labour reform process, and said that “we will continue to work closely with businesses on the evolving reforms, including those relating to the replacement of the kafala system, which will benefit the economy, the country and its people,” she said.

The GFMD is an inter-governmental consultative process established in 2006, which addresses the multidimensional aspects of migration and its inter-linkages with development. The GFMD Business Mechanism was established in 2016 to bring the voices of the private sector to the inter-governmental forum. Exploring common issues between businesses and governments, the GFMD Business Mechanism provides a forum for government representatives and private sector to discuss their shared responsibility to promote effective policies that also take into account economic perspectives.