Qatar’s labor minister has criticized Western media for their coverage of the country’s preparations for the soccer World Cup, days before the Gulf nation became the first country in the Middle East to host the event. this case.
Speaking at a meeting organized by the European Parliament’s Human Rights Subcommittee on Monday, Ali bin Samikh al-Marri said that while Qatar accepts constructive criticism, the campaign against the land His water has recently accelerated.
Al-Marri in Brussels has criticized the coverage of the deaths of migrant workers in preparation for the World Cup – with numbers believed to be between 6,500 and 15,000 – as “statistics in circulation” [that] lack of accuracy, reliability and integrity, and are not issued by document authorities”.
“Every day we hear a new slander about worker mortality, as if we were participating in a ‘public auction’,” he said.
“I want to emphasize the imprecision of these numbers. I also urge all politicians to consult official specialized organizations such as the International Labor Organization (ILO)… when looking for accurate sources of information,” he said.
We will not tolerate hate speech and racism towards the people of Qatar and their national team.
Mr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri, Minister of Labor.
Hearing in the European Parliament.#molqtr pic.twitter.com/8NJEBTfui2
— ارة الل (@MOLQTR) November 14, 2022
In February 2021, the Guardian reported that 6,500 migrants worker from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in the country since 2010, when Qatar was awarded the right to host the World Cup.
The Qatari government has stated that these numbers, provided by the embassies of their respective countries, include the deaths of people not working on World Cup projects. “Death rates in these communities are within the range expected for the size and demographics of the population,” it said.
The government says there have been 37 deaths between 2014 and 2020 among workers directly involved in the construction of World Cup stadiums, of which three are “work-related.” .
Last month, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar said his country faced a “unprecedented campaign” of criticism before the event, which raised questions “about the real reason and motivation” behind the campaign. Qatari senior officials also condemned the “hypocrisy” of those calling for a World Cup boycott to protest human rights allegations in the Gulf country.
On Monday, al-Marri said: “The slander and accusations against Qatar began to take a different turn when applying hateful and racist rhetoric with the aim of offending the people of Qatar and their national team.”
He added: “We will not tolerate hate speech and systemic racism against our people, our country and our team, and we call on human rights organizations to The international community takes a resolute stance against anyone taking part in this attack.”
— ارة الل (@MOLQTR) November 15, 2022
Qatar treats migrant workers and its human rights record has been in the spotlight since it was awarded the tournament, leading to calls for teams to boycott the tournament altogether.
The country has faced widespread criticism from human rights groups for its previous use of the kafala system – whereby workers are bound to their employers and they agree to change jobs. in the form of a Certificate of No Objection (NOC) – a law for human rights activists. argued to tie their presence in Qatar to their employer and lead to abuse and exploitation.
Job change NOC demand was eliminated in August 2020 amid other landmark changes, including the introduction of a minimum wage. Qatar also introduced a minimum wage and new regulations on working in hot conditions, as part of a labor reform process it says was introduced before it was awarded the right to host the World Cup. .
In his speech on Monday, al-Marri said Qatar’s critics were deliberately ignoring the country’s policies. labor reform because “they don’t serve their false stories”.
ILO, in one report published this month, said Qatar had made progress in labor reform but challenges remained in its implementation. It said the changes have improved working and living conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers – an estimated 85 per cent of Qatar’s population – although more efforts are needed to ensure that all workers are benefit.
The World Cup opens on November 20, with the opening match see the server take Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium. The final match will take place on December 18.