Euro MPs add voice to Qatar labour concerns

European Parliament urges FIFA to send clear message to Qatar regarding allegations of forced labour

The European Parliament has stepped into the dispute over conditions for labourers in Qatar, saying it is "concerned" about reports of abuse.

In a statement, MEPs said they were "concerned about the situation of the migrant workers in Qatar" and called for the speedy adoption of the draft law on domestic workers, currently being debated in the Supreme Council of Family Affairs.

In a 35-22 vote with four abstentions, the parliament insisted the alleged abuses should be fully investigated. MEPs also called on Qatari authorities to stop detaining individuals for ”running away” from their employers.

MEPs noted that at least 500,000 more migrant workers are expected in Qatar to accelerate work in preparation for the 2022 World Cup and urged FIFA to "send a clear and strong message to Qatar to prevent the preparations for the 2022 football World Cup being overshadowed by allegations of forced labour".

MEPs also appealed to the European corporations involved in building stadiums or other infrastructure projects in Qatar to provide working conditions that are in line with international human rights standards.

In a separate statement, FIFA said it welcomed the European Parliament resolution which it said was in line with steps agreed at a meeting between FIFA and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Wednesday.

The statement said: "FIFA has made it very clear in all previous official statements, as well as in the context of contacts with human rights organisations in the past, that it upholds respect for human rights and the application of international norms of behaviour as a principle and as part of all of its activities.

"FIFA, as world football’s governing body and the organiser of football’s flagship event, strongly believes that football can play an important role in generating public awareness and triggering positive social change in the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup."

FIFA added: "In order to achieve a sustainable improvement of working conditions in Qatar and the wider region, a joint effort by FIFA, the business sector, the international political community and the Qatari authorities is required.

"FIFA remains open to cooperate with all relevant bodies and authorities to tackle this issue and to ensure that the protection of migrant workers continues to be addressed with urgency."

Amnesty International, Britain's Guardian newspaper and the International Trade Union Confederation have delivered scathing reports on the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar in the last few months.

The reports say the construction industry is rife with abuse of migrant workers who often work long hours in searing heat, live in squalid accommodation and are sometimes denied their wages.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Why the Qatar hacking incident has revived Gulf tensions

Why the Qatar hacking incident has revived Gulf tensions

Analysts say the incident was far more than a security breach...

Trump's Saudi embrace, Iran disdain upend Obama's vision

Trump's Saudi embrace, Iran disdain upend Obama's vision

Analysts say Trump's actions mark a stark departure from the...

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

Organisation knows what the GCC has to do to meet the challenges...

Most Discussed
  • 2
    One killed, 14 injured in multiple Dubai crashes

    The drivers should pay attention to driving and not their phones, social media is the problem, see it everyday, cars all over the road taking up 2 lanes... more

    Tuesday, 30 May 2017 9:07 AM - Good driver
  • 1
    The cost of the US laptop ban

    US is really making crazy decisions and deals will not help anybody citizens or travellers. confused president and his rules more

    Tuesday, 30 May 2017 9:04 AM - philip butler