Migrant Forum in Asia
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Sharing of Good Practices on Shelters

The International Labour Organization (ILO) Project Office for the State of Qatar, in partnership with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA), and the Embassy of the United States in Qatar, organized a program entitled “Sharing of Good Practices on Shelters” on 27-28 March 2019 in City Centre Rotana Doha, Qatar. Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) was invited to attend the program as resource speakers to provide organizational support, and facilitate the participation of its members and partner from Asia and the Middle East. From Asia, the resource speakers were representatives of Hsinchu Catholic Diocese Migrant and Immigrants Service Center (HMISC) based in Taiwan, Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economic (HOME) based in Singapore, and the MFA Secretariat based in Manila. The delegation was also joined by one of its partners in Lebanon, Caritas Lebanon.

The “Sharing of Good Practices on Shelters” was a 2-day event that was attended by thirty-eight (38) participants from MADLSA, the Red Crescent Society, Qatar Foundation, Qatar Charity, the Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre, ILO, US Embassy, and MFA.

The objectives of the program were:

(1) To share best practices in establishing and running a shelter;
(2) To identify issues and challenges that can hinder the success of shelters; and
(3) To identify possible collaborative efforts among the different stakeholders in order to ensure shelter services meet the needs of migrant workers; and
(4) To come up with recommendations to the Qatari government on the establishment of shelters in the country. (Annex A)

The 2-day program was divided into three (3) main sessions wherein each session looked into the structure, short-term or immediate intervention, and long-term or rehabilitation support of the shelters in Singapore, Lebanon, and Taiwan. The last session focused on developing recommendations on the various aspects of establishing a shelter in the country.

The program provided a space for local organizations, representatives from MADLSA, ILO Qatar, US Embassy, and MFA to share how shelters are being operated in Singapore, Taiwan, and Lebanon as well as have the opportunity for the Qatari participants to think how they will go about with the planning of the shelters. In this way, they would not need to start from the beginning, instead pick out the best practices from the three (3) organizations, tailor them to the Qatari context, and add attributes which would make it uniquely Qatari but at the same time guarantee that the human rights of the victims/residents are protected and promoted the best way possible.

Furthermore, it was decided during the meeting that the issues and recommendations formed during the workshop will be elevated to the MADLSA. There will also be a committee that will work on specific issues, and look at SOPs and guidelines for shelters. This committee could also identify a working body focused on writing the SOPs. There could also be an ocular visits to various shelters such as the shelters in the US and Kuwait due to similarity in the labour market. The discussion over the course of two (2) days have concluded with a list of recommendation which was submitted to the highest decision making body in the country. The recommendation is a guide on how the state of Qatar can move forward in combatting forced labour and trafficking in the country.

For more information please contact William Gois of the MFA Secretariat at: mfa@mfasia.org

 

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MFA is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers.

It is guided by a vision of an alternative world system based on respect for human rights and dignity, social justice, and gender equity, particularly for migrant workers.

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