Around 1,200 expatriate labourers and their managers took part in Qatar Foundation for Combating Human Trafficking (QFCHT)’s International Labour Day celebrations at Al-Rayan Theatre, Souq Waqif, yesterday.
The function, organised by QFCHT Qatari House for Lodging and Human Care, aimed to stress the key role played by expatriate labourers in building and developing the society. It also took the opportunity to introduce them to human trafficking concerns and the services provided by QFCHT to address related issues. The event focused on raising awareness among labourers on their rights and duties regarding human trafficking and how to access QFCHT’s services.
“Qatar is heading towards a great economic phase, which requires the efforts of labourers. There’s no doubt that they should feel that they are an integral part of Qatari society,” said QFCHT director-general Maryam al-Malki, pointing out that the country had worked to establish the rights of labourers and the Qatari constitution stressed that the relationship between the worker and the employer was based on social justice, according to the law. Al-Malki stressed that legislations stipulating the rights of workers should be enforced and brought into spotlight to make labourers aware of their rights and instruct employers on their duties.
The event featured several activities, including a film based on a labour-related theme, a silent theatrical presentation, various competitions and entertainment shows. The activities sought to engage the audience on the stage, with some of them winning prizes presented by QFCHT.
QFCHT also launched the Wayakum (an Arabic phrase meaning “with us”) campaign, which will continue for a year. It highlights the ethical commitment of QFCHT to support workers and protect their rights in all possible ways.
“Marking this day with labourers stems from QFCHT’s eagerness to care about them. We are committed to offer them constant support and tell them that promoting their cause and protecting their rights are the top priorities of QFCHT. Further, QFCHT strongly believes that labourers are indispensable in the process of development in any society. It is through their efforts that the economy and civilisation of the country flourish.
“Consequently, they have to be provided with a healthy and positive work environment that protect their rights and promotes their well-being. This way, they will be more productive, which will speed up the process of development in the country,” a statement issued by QFCHT stressed.
Earlier, QFCHT had launched a hotline (108) service to enable labourers and domestic maids, in particular, to access its services round the clock from anywhere in the country. There is also a team of experts to offer assistance to potential victims of abuse, giving them material, legal, medical and psychiatric support until their issues are resolved.