Sports

EU Parliament Backs Remedy Fund for Qatar Migrant Abuses to day

On November 24, the European Parliament urged FIFA and Qatar to compensate for the widespread abuses suffered by migrant workers while building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup and enabling the games. In doing so, they joined migrant workers and their families, the global public and a growing number of football associations, sponsors, political leaders, athletes and human rights organizations and trade unions who have supported this call.

While acknowledging major labor reforms implemented by Qatar, the European Parliament’s resolution highlighted how an existing compensation scheme, which only became operational in 2020, failed to compensate for widespread wage abuse since FIFA’s controversial 2010 selection of Qatar as the host of the World Cup. In addition, Qatari authorities hastily attributed the deaths of thousands of migrant workers to “natural causes” without proper investigation, rendering their families ineligible for compensation.

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In pre-vote debate, MPs harped on Qatar’s poor record on labor rights and other human rights, including violations of freedom of expression, women’s rights and the rights of LGBT people. The adopted text also condemned the participation of European companies in violations of the rights of migrant workers during the preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The European Parliament’s criticism follows repeated missed opportunities for the Qatari authorities and FIFA to address and remedy human rights violations.

On November 1, Qatar’s labor minister explicitly rejected calls to reinstate migrant workers who have suffered, praising domestic reforms as sufficient; when he testified in the European Parliament two weeks later, he again failed to publicly commit to compensation, although he showed some willingness to make the existing fund available retroactively.

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FIFA has drawn further criticism for urging football associations to focus only on football rather than engaging in “political or ideological battles”, threatening to punish players on the pitch for even symbolic actions such as wearing bracelets in solidarity with LGBT rights. On the eve of the tournament, FIFA President Gianni Infantino held a bizarre press conference full of “whataboutism” and gross inaccuracies about the scope and effectiveness of existing compensation schemes for injured workers and their families.

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It should be abundantly clear to FIFA and Qatar by now that their clumsy, intimidating attempts to silence criticism are doomed to backfire. Instead, they could save their reputation and the legacy of this World Cup by committing to a comprehensive recovery fund to compensate thousands of families who lost their main breadwinner to make the tournament possible.

Will they finally do that?

Source: news.google.com

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