Human Rights Capacity Building Program and Migrant Worker Advocacy

People sitting in the construction area.

About the Program

Georgetown University in Qatar offers a 4-day Human Rights Capacity Building Program in collaboration with The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) and Migrant Forum Asia (MFA). The aim of the program is to build knowledge and understanding of international human rights and labor standards and their relevance to the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar.

With the government of Qatar having made significant commitments to reform law, policy and practice on migrant workers, this is a timely program to give individuals an understanding of relevant international standards and the current reforms – in a global context. The program enables participants to more effectively use internationally agreed standards and mechanisms in their own efforts to ensure respect for the human rights of migrant workers. The program also provides a valuable forum for the sharing of knowledge and skills, and collaboration building.

All those interested in supporting migrant worker rights or working with migrant support communities based in Qatar were invited to register. Applicants are generally interested and committed to learning more and working with others to promote and protect the rights of workers. Consideration was given to ensuring a gender balance in the student cohort. The program was conducted in English with simultaneous Arabic interpretation.


  • Knowledge and understanding of international human rights and labor standards
  • Increased capacity to integrate knowledge of the international human rights framework, and specific human rights treaties including CMW, ILO Conventions and human rights mechanisms and complaints processes into work environment to promote and protect the rights of workers
  • Increased understanding of how civil society, NHRIs, business, and the UN system can collaborate in building respect for the rights of migrant workers
  • Knowledge and understanding gained from interaction with experienced practitioners
  • The opportunity to develop collaborative working relationships in this key area
  • Participants completing the four-day program receive a certificate of participation


Trainers on DTP/MFA programs are experienced and highly respected local, regional and international human rights practitioners, academics, and officials who understand and support DTP’s philosophy of participatory training.

Training Methodology

The DTP recognizes and values the experiences and skills that participants bring to its programs. The opportunity to share experiences and lessons with other participants and trainers is one of the real benefits and highlights of participating in the program. The training methodology is interactive with an emphasis on group work, role plays, case studies and discussion.

Background of the Program

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. Increasingly women are migrating for work, and they are particularly vulnerable to abuse and violations of their human rights. Ensuring the rights of all individuals is a duty of the state, but also the responsibility of businesses, employers, and individuals. 

Qatar hosts millions of migrant workers who are building its infrastructure, its roads, and rail, its homes, hospitals and schools, its stadiums and hotels. Migrant workers from many countries provide the care and services to the children, the elderly and sick in homes, hospitals, hotels and shops and more. The wages they send home to families are lifting communities out of poverty.  

The government of Qatar has embarked on an ambitious program of reform, to lead on these issues and has invited the assistance and support of the ILO. Implementation of these reforms requires the building of knowledge and understanding, changes in the way that business is done and new approaches and thinking. This program will assist participants to work together in developing new approaches and practical strategies to protect and promote migrant worker rights.

Past Program Partners

Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) is an independent NGO affiliated with the Faculty of Law at UNSW Sydney, Australia. It advances human rights and empowers civil society through quality education and training and the building of skills and capacity in NGOs.

Migrant Forum Asia (MFA) is a regional network of NGOs, associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protecting and promoting 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.  

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is dedicated to fulfilling Georgetown University’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical and spiritual understanding through serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs.

Sample Schedule

SessionDay 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 
8:00 – 9:30 Registration and Welcome Remarks Welcome Speech: Qatar’s Labor ReformsTowards A Humane Economy – Labor Migration and the Global Compact on Safe  Migration in Qatar/GCC  Introduction to the ILO System: Core Labor Standards and Conventions relating to Migrant WorkersReforming Recruitment- Addressing the challenges in the country of origin and destination  
9:30 – 9:45Coffee BreakCoffee BreakCoffee BreakCoffee Break
9:45 – 11:15Participants Introduction, Training outline; Identification of Key issuesPanel – Qatar’s labor reforms: what has been achieved and what is planned? Monitoring and ensuring implementation of labor reformsKey ILO Standards – An Introduction & Practical Exercise  Creating Spaces for Workers Voices – challenges and achievements Joint-committees in enterprises:
11:15 – 12:45Introduction to International Human Rights Standards and Migrant WorkersBusiness and Human Rights – An Introduction to Key Standards and the Responsibilities of CompaniesDomestic Workers, C 189 – and the New Legal Framework in Qatar – Shared Responsibilities of Government and Business – Practical SessionRecapping and Consolidation Session
12:45 – 1:30LunchLunchLunchLunch
1:30 – 2:45Introduction to Human Rights and The UN SystemPerspectives and Approaches on Implementation – Practitioners PanelDomestic Worker Cont’d…Participant Evaluations & Closing Ceremony