Post-World Cup, Qatar is pressing forward with labor reforms however concerns for migrant workers stay

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — When Qatar hosted the World Cup a small over a one year ago, the filthy rich emirate confronted intense scrutiny over its human rights file, especially the medication of migrant workers who helped dangle the glitzy stadiums.

The danger has frail to the background as Qatar all over yet again plays host to a critical world soccer match – this time the Asian Cup, which ends Saturday with the host nation taking part in Jordan in the final.

The U.N.-backed World Labor Group says reforms provided following the World Cup possess improved the danger of migrant workers, while along with that more wants to be executed. Within the meantime, human rights community Amnesty World says migrant workers collected face abuses.

“In Qatar, we now possess identified that there had been some improvements in most modern years with the introduction of labor reforms, however that these reforms stay weakly implemented and extreme abuse continues on a critical scale,” Amnesty’s head of enterprise social justice, Stephen Cockburn, told The AP.

“Growth moreover appears to possess stagnated since the World Cup and there would possibly be an pressing want to revive the reform route of and put into effect rules to the fullest extent,″ he acknowledged.

Excellent November, Amnesty entreated Qatar and FIFA to impact more for migrant workers – in particular by manner of compensation.

The continuing need for international labor is abundantly sure upright walking via the streets of Doha and no longer upright to impact building of the city’s ever-expanding skyline, which is collected punctuated by cranes and partly-built tower blocks.

Migrant workers procure litter, abet espresso, power taxis and provide safety.

The introduction of a minimum month-to-month wage is collected handiest 1,000 Qatari riyals ($275) plus meals and accommodation.

Workers live in single-intercourse accommodation, with men possible to be in shared rooms of between four and 6 people. Girls folks would possibly well perhaps presumably live in villas, yet again with shared rooms.

Low wage workers have a tendency to send support 81% of their wages, the ILO says, which points to the meagre portions they continue to exist in Qatar.

Security guards can work 12 hours and then swap beds with the person taking on the following 12-hour shift.

Yet migrants collected come.

“Whilst you occur to look it is healthier in a international country you would possibly want to assemble that step,” a security guard from Kenya, who has been in Qatar for 3 years, told The AP. Cherish other migrant workers who spoke to The AP, he didn’t are attempting to offer his title

He acknowledged he deliberate to inch on yet again, with any luck to one other continent, announcing work was no longer as noteworthy since the World Cup and that had impacted wages.

Even with this kind of low minimum wage, one other bike courier from Ghana acknowledged it collected paid more than he would possibly well perhaps presumably fabricate at home, enabling him to send money to his son.

With an estimated inhabitants of no longer as much as 3 million and handiest around 300,000 electorate, a grimy rich and without note-constructing country love Qatar is heavily-reliant on its migrant physique of workers.

That was especially the case when it was controversially awarded the 2022 World Cup, with labor wished to dangle over $200 billion price of stadiums and infrastructure.

However the medication of international workers, who labored in the searing warmth and a few of whom died in the course of of handing over the World Cup, was the main point of curiosity of criticism for more than 10 years in the lead-as much as the match.

Concerns extended beyond the presumably hazardous building industry, in particular across the kafala employment scheme, which had previously given employers retain an eye on over whether migrant workers would possibly well perhaps presumably replace jobs or even inch away the country.

“There are collected a giant amount of labor points that workers face especially around wages or challenges around changing jobs, however we feel love we’re seeing a replace, systems are improving and dedication is collected high submit-World Cup,” acknowledged Max Tunon, the head of the ILO project place of job in Qatar.

“By no manner is it glorious and where we would like it to be, however by law there had been indispensable adjustments which had been adopted. That kafala scheme, and abuse that can perhaps perhaps presumably come from that kafala scheme, is the main disagreement that we look this present day.”

Tunon says there would possibly be now a tool for workers to register complaints while occupational smartly being legislation, provided in 2021, contains classes when it is illegitimate to work starting up air at some point soon of summer months.

FIFA acknowledged the World Cup had been an “fundamental catalyst” for reforms.

“It is undeniable that critical progress has taken station, and it is equally sure that the enforcement of such transformative reforms takes time and that heightened efforts are wished to make certain the reforms income all workers in the country,” soccer’s governing physique acknowledged in what has change into a constant assertion.

The series of labor-linked deaths in the transport of the World Cup came beneath intense scrutiny in the lead-up.

In a look published by the ILO, it acknowledged there had been 50 work-linked deaths in Qatar in 2020 and 506 extreme accidents, even supposing there are points in figuring out a definitive total quantity.

“We’re announcing there wants to be more investigations of deaths that can perhaps perhaps presumably in spite of every little thing be work linked, however are in the intervening time no longer categorized as work linked,” Tunon acknowledged.

“Due to this these workers, their members of the family, are no longer in a position to gather compensation if it’s no longer considered to be a work-linked death. We impact feel here is surely a gap.”

Qatar’s world media place of job didn’t without lengthen answer to questions asked by the AP, however acknowledged in a press launch in November that its dedication to safeguarding workers’ rights “was consistently supposed to continue lengthy after the match ended. Qatar now leads the design on workers’ rights and labor reforms, setting an example for other countries on how a tool would possibly well perhaps presumably also very smartly be efficiently overhauled.”

The World Cup is determined to come to the Center East in 2034, with Saudi Arabia basically the most convenient country left in the bidding route of.

“The most exciting lesson from the World Cup in Qatar is perhaps to form out the human rights risks from the very launch,” Cockburn acknowledged.

He added that “many lives will had been saved and heaps more and heaps exploitation prevented. To steer sure of one other decade of abuses and controversies, FIFA and Saudi Arabia will want to make certain on what they are going to impact to reform the country’s labor rules, how they are going to relate freedom of expression for journalists and human rights activists, and how they are going to make certain stunning safety for the LGBTI community.

“The dangers are huge and failing to form out them now will possible be a ancient mistake.”


James Robson is at


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