KUWAIT CITY: Gulf and Asian labor ministers agreed Thursday on a series of initiatives aimed at boosting protection and improving conditions of employment for millions of foreign workers in the Gulf, officials said.
The deal followed two days of talks between ministers from the 12 Asian labor-sending countries and the energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, which hosts at least 15 million workers, mostly Asian.
They welcomed a proposal by the International Labor Organization to assist in “preventing abuse in the recruitment process, protecting workers’ rights, improving regulation and strengthening oversight of private recruitment,” in a final statement of the end of the meeting.
The measures include initiatives and programs for wage protection, for speedier settlement of labor disputes, a skill development and testing program and a pre-departure orientation initiative, the Emirati labor ministry undersecretary for policies and strategy, Omar Al-Nuaimi, told AFP.
The governments in the latest round of the so-called Abu Dhabi Dialogue, launched in the Emirati capital in 2008, negotiated “in a positive and responsible way for the benefit of workers,” Nuaimi said.