The International Labor Organization (FIFA) and the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) hailed the reforms adopted by the State of Qatar to protect human rights and migrant workers during an open session of the European Parliament, which discussed the importance of respecting human rights standards and laws during the organization of major sporting events.
The representatives of ILO and FIFA said that Qatar has made striking and significant changes in recent years to ensure respect for the rights of all workers in Qatar, not only the workers in the World Cup facilities, and the highest standards of safety and security during the construction of the 2022 stadiums. Including the abolition of the sponsorship law and the law on the regulation of entry and exit of expatriates, including the cancellation of the requirement to issue an exit document to allow the travel of expatriates.
“I would like to dedicate these minutes to my presentation on the latest developments in the State of Qatar, which are already a model for development,” said Ms. Beate Andrees, Chief of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch of the ILO Governance and Tripartism Department. “Many of you may know that the ILO is present in Qatar to encourage the development of workers’ rights in this country, and we have started our work there by following up the conditions of the workers, their places of residence, their working conditions, their access to the appropriate health services, In accordance with international law and ILO standards, and after several years of discussions, particularly in 2017, we have made substantial progress with the State of Qatar by signing a comprehensive program of technical cooperation between the ILO and Qatar. The Qatari government is keen to emphasize that it is not only concerned with the workers working in construction projects related to the Qatar 2022 World Cup. It is also concerned with all workers, whether Qataris or expatriate workers working in the stadiums, Hotels and various other fields. I think we should highlight the importance of this change for us, as it is part of our concern to establish a long-term system that benefits all migrant workers in Qatar,” Ms. Beate Andrees concluded.
“This is the first time that fundamental attention has been given to the need to respect human rights standards and laws in the organization of sporting events, and be included in the terms of the agreements signed by FIFA on the organization of major sporting events. In Qatar, we worked closely with the Higher Committee for Heritage and Projects in the State of Qatar to follow up on the completion of the infrastructure and the World Cup stadiums in Qatar,” Mr. Federico Adeishi, Director of the Department of Sustainable Development and Diversity of the International Federation of Football (FIFA) Major sports said. He added “I am sure you have seen over the past few months that Qatar has adopted some reforms to change labor laws, in coordination with the International Labor Organization. We are very pleased to see that this development which- according to many experts – would not have been possible without shedding light on the organization of the FIFA World Cup, and this change now supports our efforts to ensure respect for human rights and workers’ rights. The FIFA has confirmed for years that it has a responsibility to ensure that the highest standards are respected in the facilities of the World Cup. said Federico. “We have been working for years on the implementation of FIFA’s strategy to prepare for the 2022 World Cup, a strategy in cooperation with the local organizing committees and the Higher Committee for Heritage and Projects, a strategy based on respect for human rights standards,” he concluded.