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Article

24 Sep 2021

Author:
Malcolm Bidali, Doha News (Qatar)

Qatar: Ahead of elections, advocate Malcolm Bidali warns a new Shura Council could maintain the status quo for migrant workers

"Will the new elected Shura Council be kinder to migrant workers?" 22 Sep 2021

In February this year, just six months after authorities introduced significant labour reforms, the Shura Council proposed some recommendations that, frankly, posed a major threat to the progress made in Qatar...

backtracking by the council therefore sought only to appease private interests of those who can only be described as individuals fuelled by greed...

The council’s recommendations were thankfully ignored by the government...

Previously-appointed council members consisted of business tycoons. However, the vote on 2 October marks a crucial crossroad for the country’s trajectory, and it’s fair to say, particularly for migrant workers, who will be hoping that those voted in are more interested in building on the gains made by authorities in recent years, rather than their personal financial gains...

business owners in Qatar are well connected to those in office. In some cases, lines between business, government and family are blurred even sometimes virtually nonexistent. For this reason, the incoming council will face the challenge of navigating through these vague territories that stand between business, public office and workers rights...

it remains to be seen whether the Shura Council, like other parliamentary and legislative bodies around the world, will have a workers rights or labour committee.