Few Days ahead of the World Cup kick-off in Qatar, the country’s labor minister criticized Western press for their portrayal of the nation’s World Cup arrangements. Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country to host the games.
Ali bin Samikh al-Marri remarked yesterday during a meeting organized by the European Parliament’s Panel on Human Rights that while Qatar embraces helpful advice, assault against Doha has recently gained steam.
Al-Marri criticized the reporting on the claimed 6,500–15,000 fatalities of migrant workers involved in World Cup preparations. He said the estimates were circulated statistics [that] lack truth, trustworthiness, and authenticity.
Qatari minister said that as if Doha were in a “public auction,” a fresh libel about the death rates of employees is heard every day. “I would like to stress the inaccuracy of these numbers. I would also implore all politicians to refer to official specialised organisations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO)” he said.
The Guardian newspaper revealed a few months ago that since 2010, when Qatar was given the World Cup, 6,500 migrant laborers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have perished there.
According to the Qatari government, fatalities of persons not involved in World Cup projects were included in these statistics, which were submitted by the diplomats of the respective nations. The fatality rate in these localities is within the predicted range given the population’s size and makeup, it was stated.
Three of the 37 deaths among personnel directly involved in building Football stadiums in a seven-year span ending in 2020, according to the authorities, were “work-related.”
In the month before to the event, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani claimed his nation was subjected to a “unprecedented campaign” of denunciation, which aroused concerns about the true reasons and motivations behind the contest.
Ongoing Criticism against Qatar
Senior Qatari authorities have also criticized those advocating for a boycott of the games in Qatar in an effort to protest what they claim to be violations of human rights in the Gulf nation as being “hypocritical.”
Al-Marri stated on Monday that the libels and charges against Qatar began to take a drastic turn in employing hatred and racial speech with the intention of insulting Qatari citizens and the Football team. “We will not accept hate speech and systematic racism towards our people, our country and our team, and we call on international human rights organisations to take firm stances against anyone who engages in this attack,” Al-Marri further explained.
Since winning the games a decade earlier, Qatar’s mistreatment of migrant labor and human rights conducts have come under scrutiny, prompting demands for teams to boycott the competition entirely.
Humanitarian groups heavily criticized the Qatari state for its prior employment of the kafala system, which requires workers to be tied to a contractor and requires their authority to leave jobs in the form of a No Objection Certificate (NOC). According to rights activists, this law bonded workers’ appearance in Qatar to their business owners and encouraged systematic abuse.
Along with other significant events, such the implementation of a subsistence wages, the requirement for a NOC to change job was eliminated last year.As part of a labor reform agenda, Qatar also implemented a minimum wage and new rules about being exposed to heat during work.
The ILO noted that although Qatar’s labor reforms had advanced, implementation issues persisted. According to the report, hundreds of thousands of workers—who make up an estimated 85% of Qatar’s population—have reported an improvement in their living and working conditions, but more work was necessary to ensure that everyone benefited.