Qatar defends itself against NGOs and affirms that it has respected human and labor rights in the organization of the World Cup

Qatar defends itself against NGOs and affirms that it has respected human and labor rights in the organization of the World Cup

The Government of Qatar ruled on the reports published by the NGOs Amnesty International and HRW, which indicate the human and labor rights violations of foreigners who worked in the organization of the World Cup. A Qatari spokesman claims they have the best labor policies in the entire Middle East

One month before the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Government of Qatar defended its country’s progress in recognizing human and labor rights and in the reforms undertaken for the benefit of workers in recent years, despite criticism from organizations such as Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).

A Qatari government spokesman told the EFE news agency that “Qatar is incredibly proud of the labor reforms it has introduced. Few countries have come this far so quickly and Qatar now leads the region in labor rights.”

In this regard, he regretted that AI’s recent report on labor rights in the country, in which the NGO denounced that the reforms to guarantee the well-being of migrant workers who, among other things, have been responsible for the construction of World Cup infrastructures, “do not recognize that our labor system is constantly improving every year.”

“The number of legal offenses has declined, while enforcement measures take hold and compliance grows. While AI seems poised to grab headlines, Qatar continues to develop policies that support and promote a more equitable labor market,” he noted.

The spokesman also pointed out that the Qatari commitment to labor reforms will not end with the World Cup, but are long-term measures that will form an integral part of the World Cup legacy.

“Qatar welcomes all groups, including those critical of the country, as long as they are constructive, genuine and working toward lasting change,” he said.

The AI ​​report published today reiterated that “(labor) abuses continue to be frequent throughout the country” despite the reforms implemented, which include, among others, the creation of a minimum wage and the end of the guardianship system by employers. , although he acknowledged that these “have already brought about some notable improvements for the two million migrant workers in the country.”

However, he pointed out that the lack of implementation of these reforms “continues to undermine the impact of these improvements” on migrants, since “thousands of people who work on all the projects (of the World Cup) continue to face problems” such as delays and non-payments. , denial of rest days, job insecurity and limited access to Justice.

HRW also used the month-long milestone for the start of the World Cup to ask Qatar to reimburse the “exorbitant” recruitment fees paid by many of the migrants to work and make the championship possible.

“With 30 days to go until the tournament, there is a small window of opportunity for FIFA and the Qatari authorities to correct course and commit to remedying past abuses that have tainted the 2022 World Cup,” the deputy director for the Middle East said in a statement. of HRW, Michael Page.

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