Labour inspection

Labour inspection in Arab states: progress and challenges

This is a comparative overview of labour inspection systems in selected Arab countries. It compiles available information on practices and areas of progress. It also highlights major knowledge gaps and areas where improvement is needed in ensuring effective and modern labour administration and inspection systems.

Over the past decade, Arab states have made steady progress in improving their labour inspection systems in terms of regulations, human capacities, and use of technology. Yet, challenges remain in ensuring that comprehensive labour inspection systems are able to deal with changing economies, high levels of informality and deficiencies in labour rights.

Contrary to other regions, little information is available in the Arab states on labour administration and inspection systems. Hence, this working paper seeks to fill the knowledge gaps on this topic. The aim is to compile available information and provide a comparative overview of labour inspection systems in selected Arab countries, focusing on existing practices in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), and Yemen. The information contained in this working paper draws on country reports, desk reviews, online research and, where possible, interviews with key informants from labour inspectorates. It is intended as a reference compendium to be used towards improving labour administration and inspections across the region, while also generating new research on this topic.