Qatar pledges to investigate worker abuse claims
The Government of Qatar has pledged to investigate allegations of worker abuse following a new report by Amnesty International
The Government of Qatar has pledged to investigate allegations of worker abuse following a new report by Amnesty International.
The report claims workers refurbishing a key stadium in Qatar's 2022 World Cup plans have been suffering human rights abuses.
Dozens of construction workers, building the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, are being forced to live in squalid accommodation, pay huge recruimtne fees, having their wages withheld and passports confiscated.
The report entitled, 'The ugly side of the beautiful game: Labour exploitation on a Qatar 2022 World Cup venue', was produced after interviews with 132 stadium workers and around 100 others who had worked in the surrounding complex between February and May last year.
Following the publication of the report, the Qatari Government issued a statement responding to the claims.
In the statement the government pledged to investigate particular contractors named in the report.
The statement read: "The Government of Qatar considers the welfare of our guest workers a top prioirty and is committed to the ongoing, systematic reform of Qatar's labour laws.
"Our goal is to create a legacy of improved conditions for workers in Qatar and to set the standard for both labour rights and human rights in the Gulf region.
"We acknowledge the progress that has been made by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
"To that end, we are well aware that our efforts are a work-in-progress, and we welcome the efforts Amnesty and other NGOs are making to help us identify areas for further improvement.
"Though many of the points raised by Amnesty have already been addressed through recent legislative changes, we are concerned by a number of allegations contained within the report.
"The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs intends to investigate the contractors named in the report."
The alleged ill treatment of workers comes just two years after the tournment's organisers drafted worker welfare standards in the wake of widespread critiscim, Reuters reported.
Hassan Al Thawadi, Qatar's 2022 committee chief, said Amnesty had highlighted 'malpractices' faced by some of the 5,100 construction workers building stadiums.
"We've always recognised that we don't have a magic wand that could fix the matter from the very beginning," Thawadi told reporters in Doha, calling the World Cup a "catalyst for change".
"We're resolving gaps day by day."