Posted February 11, 2014

2022 World Cup: Qatar announces workers’ rights charter

Soccer
Qatar has drawn criticism  as a World Cup host for both its climate and its human rights record. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Qatar has drawn criticism as a World Cup host for both its climate and its human rights record. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

2022 World Cup host Qatar has released a workers’ rights charter amid mounting pressure regarding the treatment of migrant workers preparing for the tournament, according to Rob Harris of the Associated Press.

The government of Qatar came under scrutiny after it was revealed that 185 Nepalese migrant workers died in the country last year while working on stadiums and World Cup-related infrastructure.

In response, the Qatari government released a 50-page charter Tuesday that laid out specific rights for those working on World Cup stadium projects. The requirements state that workers should be able to maintain possession of their passports and have access to adequate living arrangements and medical care.

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The International Trade Union Conference has called the document a “sham,” telling the AP that the charter offers no provisions for collective bargaining and no stipulations to protect workers from the country’s sweltering heat. Human rights watchdog Amnesty International has called the charter a “positive, if partial” step for workers, but spokesman James Lynch was concerned that real change might not occur.

“In our experience enforcement (of the standards) is almost always the stumbling block.”

The new charter covers only workers at World Cup stadiums, but it does not extend to government-contracted companies building the infrastructure for other aspects of tournament preparation.


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