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SC hosts exhibition at UN Human Rights Conference

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has unveiled an exhibition focusing on its commitment to workers' welfare on the sidelines of the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, attended the official opening of the exhibition, along with the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Office in Geneva, H.E. Ali Khalfan Al Mansouri.

Running from 25 February until 8 March, the immersive exhibition focuses on the progress of the SC's Workers' Welfare Department (WWD) since the programme commenced in 2013, using interactive displays to highlight the key achievements, which have positively impacted SC workers.

The exhibition also highlights the work of the Josoor Institute, Challenge 22 and Generation Amazing, the SC's flagship corporate social responsibility programme.

The event served as a platform to update influential human rights stakeholders on the impact of the SC's Workers' Welfare Standards, which are designed to ensure fair treatment and respect for workers building stadiums and non-competition venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

Alongside Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the SC explained the progress made on human rights to H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the President of the UN General Assembly, and H.E. Epsy Campbell Bar, Vice-President of Costa Rica.

SC Secretary General, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, said: "Our commitment to workers' welfare has been unwavering even before construction began on our stadiums in early 2014. We have always believed this World Cup would help accelerate positive social change in Qatar and the region, and leave a lasting legacy long after 2022. We are proud that our Workers' Welfare Standards today serve as a benchmark in the region, and this exhibition demonstrates the scale of our journey in a relatively short space of time."

Al Thawadi added: "While our progress on this issue is encouraging, we understand that for a matter as complex as this there will always be a long journey ahead. We are committed to making the long-term sustainable change needed to improve people's lives and set a precedent for future major sporting events in this area."

The SC's breakthrough with tackling the issue of recruitment fees, the rapid adoption of Workers' Welfare Forums and the provision of access to remedy for workers were recognised by delegates.

The exhibition also illustrated the impact of the WWD's Nutrition Programme with Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, the implementation of health and safety training, the introduction of comprehensive medical checks and digital medical records for all SC workers.

Charting the evolution of the SC's innovative approach to tackling heat stress, delegates were also updated on the cooling apparel technologies, including a preview of the bespoke cooling suits which will be deployed to 30,000 workers in time for summer 2019.

The exhibition also gave an overview of the Workers' Cup, a glimpse of what the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ will look like and a special photographic display promoting Qatar as a tourist destination.

Khalid Al Kubaisi, Chief of the SC Advisory Unit and Special Projects, said: "The progress we have made in workers' welfare demonstrates that we are on the right track to creating a transformative social legacy, even before the first match is played in 2022. We are committed to our workers and determined to continue to raise the bar for workers' welfare and protect the rights, health and safety, dignity and wellbeing of workers on our projects."

Mahmoud Qutub, Executive Director of the Workers' Welfare Department and Senior Advisor, Special Projects, said: "We have made significant progress in many areas and we acknowledge that there is more to be done. The feedback from delegates at the event around all our key initiatives has been encouraging and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure the best possible outcomes for workers on SC projects. Workers' welfare is critical to our legacy and we are committed to enabling wider adoption of the SC standards in Qatar."