Qatari team arrives to hold talks on labour pact

Kathmandu, November 4

Due to the ever increasing number of complaints related to problems being faced by Nepali migrant workers in Qatar, a Qatari government delegation has arrived in Kathmandu today to hold talks and seek ways in resolving such issues.

A five-member government delegation from the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs of Qatar has arrived in Kathmandu to hold discussions to review the bilateral labour agreement with Nepal. The delegation is being led by the adviser of the minister of the Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS), the delegation arrived a day ahead of the scheduled date.

As per a source at MoLESS who declined to be named, the Qatari delegation includes the joint secretary who looks after the legal affairs of Issa Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi, minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs of Qatar. Other members in delegation will deal with technical aspects of the pact.

After signing the bilateral labour agreement with Malaysia, MoLESS has already started homework to review the 13-year-old bilateral labour pact with the Gulf nation. Nepal and Qatar had signed a labour agreement on March 21, 2005, in Doha.

Earlier, both the Nepali and Qatari governments had agreed to hold a meeting on the labour issues. The meeting will discuss on various problems related to human rights, security, social security, benefits and wages, among others that Nepali migrants have to face in Qatar.

After this meeting in Nepal, a Nepali delegation will travel to Qatar to hold talks on November 19-20 to review the labour agreement.

A joint committee including representatives from both the countries will be formed to review the pact. The review meeting will be held alternately in Nepal and Qatar. Last year too, a five-member delegation led by the joint secretary of the Labour Ministry of Qatar had visited Nepal to hold talks with the Nepali authorities to review the labour agreement.

According to MoLESS, the meetings that will be held in November will finalise the content of the pact and later seal a technical agreement. The agreement will authorise the responsible authorities of both the countries to oversee labour related issues and resolve them as per the spirit of the agreement.

Qatar has recently emerged as the most popular destination for Nepali migrant workers after government halted labour supply to Malaysia. Most Nepali workers going to Qatar are unskilled and involved in manual works in construction sector. Last month, a total of 7,095 Nepali migrants went to Qatar for employment.