European Parliament condemns Qatar and FIFA for alleged human rights abuses News
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European Parliament condemns Qatar and FIFA for alleged human rights abuses

The European Parliament Thursday condemned Qatari authorities for the alleged human rights abuses and urged FIFA and Qatar to compensate for widespread human rights abuses that migrant workers have endured while building the 2022 World Cup infrastructure.

European Parliament supported migrant workers and their families, human rights organization, football associations, sponsors, political leaders, athletes, and labour unions who have criticized the ongoing human rights violations in Qatar. European Parliament acknowledged the significant labor reforms implemented by Qatar and further stated that the existing compensation scheme was operationalized only in 2020. Qatar also failed to compensate for widespread wage abuse since FIFA’s 2010 controversial selection of Qatar as World Cup host. 

The European Union resolution is designed to pressure Qatari authorities to conduct thorough investigations into all reported incidences where a migrant worker has died on the job, and provide restitution to the families of those whose deaths are determined to have been caused by unsafe working conditions. The adopted resolution also criticizes Qatar’s treatment of the LGBTQ+ community and women.

European Parliament observed:

With the 2022 FIFA World Cup having kicked off in Qatar, Parliament deplores the deaths of thousands of migrant workers ahead of the tournament. MEPs deplore the deaths of thousands of migrant workers primarily in the construction sector who helped the country prepare for the tournament, as well as all those injured. 

Earlier on November 1, Qatar’s Labor Minister Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri clearly rejected the call to remedy migrant workers who have suffered. He also hailed domestic reforms as sufficient and testified at the European Parliament two weeks later, despite again failing to publicly commit to compensation. Al Marri did, however, show some openness to making the existing fund available retroactively.

FIFA was further criticized for urging football associations to just “focus on football” instead of engaging in “political or ideological battles.” FIFA also threatened on-field punishments for players engaging in even symbolic actions like wearing armbands in solidarity with LGBTQ+ rights. 

Human rights organizations–including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch–wrote a joint letter to the President of FIFA Gianni Infantino to work with Qatari authorities, trade unions, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and other institutions to establish a comprehensive program to ensure all labor abuses to which FIFA contributed are remedied, and to set aside appropriate financial resources.