Capacity Building Program on Human Rights Advocacy and Migrant Workers in the Middle East (2017)

The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) and Migrant Forum Asia (MFA) held a regional training course on human rights advocacy and migrant workers in the Middle East. This training program took place over 5 days in Qatar from 21st – 25th May 2017, hosted by Georgetown University Qatar (GUQ). DTP, MFA and GUQ continued the efforts and collaboration to promote respect for the rights of migrant workers in the GCC and Middle East. 

 The objective of the program was to build the knowledge and skills to protect and promote the human rights of migrant workers, and to enable participants to more effectively use internationally agreed standards and mechanisms in their advocacy for the human rights of migrant workers in the Middle East.  The program also provided a valuable forum for the sharing of knowledge and skills, and for the building of support networks and collaboration between countries of origin and destination.

The treatment of migrant workers is one of the key human rights challenges of the region and the 21st Century.  Rapid economic change is driving more people to cross borders in search of decent work.  Migrant workers are subject to discrimination, unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, non-payment of wages violence and detention.   In many cases, migrant workers are forced to live on the fringes of society, beyond the usual protection of the law.  Effective advocacy is vital to narrowing the gap between internationally accepted standards and the real-life experiences of many migrant workers.  The program assisted participants to work together in developing practical strategies to protect and promote migrant workers’ rights at the national and regional level.

The program brought together 26 participants from 10 countries – including Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines– working with trade unions, NGOs, private sector, media, and migrant communities. There were sessions with William Gois (MFA), Professor Ray Jureidini, author of the ILO White Paper on reforming recruitment, Mariam Bhacker, Project Manager BHRRC, and Rawan Damen, a filmmaker and media consultant. The program built the knowledge, skills and networks of participants and the feedback was very positive.

See ScheduleParticipants' Biographies, Program Report