The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) led a series of workshops in London this week to share best practices and lessons learned in relation to workers' welfare.
Hosted by Impactt Limited, the SC's independent external monitor, the event was attended by businesses, human rights activists and other stakeholders, and centred on critical areas such as migrant worker recruitment fees and grievance mechanisms.
Representatives from various multinational corporations attended the workshop as the SC shared knowledge in relation to workers' rights for people employed on 2022 FIFA World Cup™ infrastructure projects.
Mahmoud Qutub, Senior Advisor and Executive Director of Workers' Welfare, delivered a presentation which highlighted the progress made in relation to protecting and enhancing the lives of the 30,000 workers engaged on Qatar 2022 projects.
Qutub said: "It is evident there are several organisations facing the same challenges that we have encountered. We are delighted that our progress can serve as a case study and benchmark for best practice for other organisations seeking to make a positive impact in workers' welfare."
Qutub detailed the transformative measures undertaken by the SC, including the development of the Workers' Welfare Standards – which every Qatar 2022 contractor must adhere to. He also outlined the SC's four-tier auditing system. and discussed improving accommodation facilities and developing robust health and safety measures.
The complex issue of recruitment fees was also a core focus of the presentation. Qutub explained that more than 25 million people around the world are affected by the problem. In response, the SC launched the 'Universal Payment System' in 2017, which has led to 120 contractors agreeing to compensate more than QAR 80 million ($22m) to almost 31,000 workers over a three-year period.
Another topic for discussion was the SC's Workers' Welfare Forums – the grievance mechanism implemented to amplify workers' concerns. This model is now being studied by the International Labour Organisation Qatar and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs for possible adoption across the country.
Qutub said: "Too often the private sector is reliant on governments to protect the rights of workers and while governments have a responsibility, I believe that we can take ownership of our supply chain and use the leverage we have on suppliers to give workers their rights.
"These workshops are a perfect platform for engagement with likeminded organisations and we are delighted that there is significant interest by multinationals in adopting a similar system to address this issue. This is the legacy of the World Cup in action and it extends beyond Qatar."