Qatar rejects World Cup migrant worker compensation fund

Qatar rejects World Cup migrant worker compensation fund

Qatar has rejected requires a compensation fund for migrant employees killed or injured in preparations for the World Cup, with the nation’s labor minister calling it a “publicity stunt”.

Labor Minister Ali bin Samikh Al Marri advised AFP that Qatar was already handing out tons of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in unpaid wages and accused critics of the Gulf state of “racism”.

Marri mentioned Qatar already had a fund to cope with employee deaths and accidents.

“This name for a FIFA-led compensation marketing campaign is a publicity stunt,” he mentioned in an unique interview. “Our door is open. We’ve got processed and resolved many circumstances.”

Amnesty Worldwide and Human Rights Watch have known as on FIFA and Qatar to arrange a employees’ fund to match the $440 million World Cup prize.

Human rights teams accuse Qatar of underreporting deaths. The federal government strongly disputes studies that 1000’s of individuals have died in building website accidents or heat-related sicknesses within the nation’s scorching summer time temperatures.

FIFA mentioned there was an “ongoing dialogue” over the fund, however within the authorities’s first public remark, Marri mentioned the proposal was unworkable.

“Each dying is a tragedy,” Marri mentioned on Sunday, including, “There are not any standards for establishing these funds.

“The place are the victims, do you will have the names of the victims, how are you going to get these numbers?” He requested.

Some worldwide union leaders have additionally mentioned {that a} new fund can be too difficult to arrange and handle.

Qatar arrange a employees’ assist and insurance coverage fund in 2018 to assist employees who haven’t been paid, which the minister mentioned disbursed $320 million this 12 months alone.

“If there’s a particular person entitled to compensation who has not obtained it, they have to come ahead and we’ll assist them,” he mentioned, including that Qatar was able to look into circumstances of compensation. greater than ten years in the past.

– ‘Racist motives’ –

Qatar has confronted a barrage of criticism since being named a shock World Cup host in 2010, and assaults have elevated this 12 months on migrant employees, LGBTQ freedoms and girls’s rights.

Final month, Qatar’s emir mentioned the nation confronted an “unprecedented marketing campaign” of criticism forward of the November 20 kick-off.

Marri mentioned critics had ignored reforms carried out since 2017 with the assistance of the Worldwide Labor Group, a United Nations company.

Different international locations and teams have used “false data” and “rumors” to “discredit Qatar with intentionally deceptive claims”, he mentioned.

Marri added that some international politicians deployed “double requirements” and used Qatar “as an area to resolve their very own political issues”.

The minister didn’t give an instance, however Qatar final week summoned the German ambassador following feedback by the nation’s inside minister.

Some critics additionally acted out of “racism,” Marri mentioned.

“They do not wish to permit a small nation, an Arab nation, an Islamic nation, to host the World Cup,” he mentioned.

“They know very effectively the reforms which have been made, however they do not acknowledge it as a result of they’ve racist motivations.”

The “Kafala” employment system, which opponents say was near slavery, has been nearly dismantled in Qatar. Staff can now change jobs and go away the nation with out their employer’s permission.

The federal government established a minimal wage of 1,000 riyals ($275) a month and handed legal guidelines in opposition to trafficking and limiting the hours that may be labored in excessive warmth.

– ‘Individuals are nonetheless attacking us’ –

Marri mentioned 420,000 employees have modified jobs for the reason that legal guidelines have been handed and $320 million has been paid out this 12 months alone to employees who misplaced their wages.

“In spite of everything these efforts, all these reforms, persons are nonetheless attacking us,” he mentioned.

The ILO mentioned this week that unpaid wages have been the primary criticism from employees and that Qatar’s primary problem was to implement its new legal guidelines. Marri mentioned his ministry was “centered” on the duty.

“If the fee of a wage is delayed for a month, we pays from the fund and take motion,” he mentioned, including that blacklisted enterprise house owners had been sentenced to a fined and imprisoned.

Forty-two recruitment companies accused of exploitation have been closed, the variety of courts listening to complaints has risen from three to 5, and extra labor inspections have been ordered in lodges and different industries throughout the World Cup.

Marri mentioned the World Cup had solely “accelerated” reforms. “We are going to reconfirm our commitments and proceed our reforms as a result of we wish to constantly enhance our personal nation.”

The minister mentioned he was contemplating making the ILO workplace in Doha everlasting and that Qatar wished to carry an annual dialogue on the safety of migrant employees.

“We’re main the area now for migrant reforms,” Al Marri mentioned. “We’ve got good relations with our neighbors and we will change greatest practices.”

tw/th/kir

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