Amnesty International is anything but confident about the human rights situation in Qatar. Despite the fact that the host of the upcoming World Cup has implemented numerous reforms in labor law on paper, according to the humanitarian organization, few of these will come to fruition in practice. Amnesty even speaks of ‘deterioration’ compared to the time of the amendments to the law. Action by FIFA can make a world of difference, according to the organization.
The human rights situation in Qatar will be discussed on Monday in the Bundestag, the German parliament. Amnesty will be present and present a statement that is in the hands of the news site RND† The statement expresses concerns about what should have been changed, but nothing has come of it. For example, passports of migrant workers are still confiscated, minimum wages are not monitored, breaks and days off are ignored, wages paid late or not paid at all and legal protection requirements against the heat are neglected.
According to Amnesty, there is great resistance within the Qatari business community about the reforms. “There are concerns about the loss of influence and profit opportunities,” the organization’s analysis reads. The government of the Middle Eastern country would hardly intervene in violations of labor law, so that a dire situation still exists in the country. Amnesty does add that the conditions of workers who work directly on construction sites for the World Cup have indeed improved. However, that share is said to be only two percent of the total number of migrant workers in the country.
Amnesty therefore calls on FIFA to draw up a clear sanctions program for violations of human rights. “Such a compensation mechanism would be a real game changer In addition to the employment law situation, women’s rights and the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community also remain a major point of discussion in mid-May. FIFA already tore up contracts with a number of Qatari hotels that refused to accommodate same-sex couples. It is illegal in Qatar to show that you like someone of the same sex in public.
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