Were trailblazers in human rights! Qatar World Cup CEO says country has changed its way
Al-Khater: Qatar has been a trailblazer in improving worker's rights
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Speaking to Sky News on Sunday Nasser al-Khater insisted his country have made major changes to human rights standards since being awarded the 2022 World Cup over 10-years ago. His comments come in stark contrast to reports which suggest 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since the country won the bid to host the international football competition.
Mr Al-Khater said: “I think looking at a situation from one perspective is easy to do.
“And everyone is free to look at things that they want o see, the way they want to see it.
“When we say unfairly treated it is basically not looking at situations in context.”
But in a clear defence of his nation’s track record on human rights he claimed that the international community are not focusing enough on the “immense amount of progress” Qatar have made in improving workers’ conditions.
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The World Cup CEO went even further as he claimed Qatar has been “a trailblazer in improving workers’ rights”.
He also pointed to efforts of improving workers’ standards of living, introducing the minimum wage and abolishing the deeply controversial ‘Kafala’ (sponsorship) system.
The system, which has also been partially scrapped in Saudi Arabia, forced migrant workers to seek consent from their bosses if they wished to leave a job.
Rights groups say the system leaves workers vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
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Mr Al-Khater added how Qatari courts have also stamped out recruitment fees levelled on migrant workers by employers and claimed these have since been repaid to the exploited labourers.
He added: “Anybody who wants to take a position on a topic (it) is their personal right…we have invited them to see things for themselves to look at the progress that has been made over the 10 years.
“It is their right to have these positions, the important thing is for them to take these positions with full information….it is not to take a position based on the news.”
The World Cup CEO went so far as to claim Qatar has been “has been unfairly treated” by the International community with allegations of rampant human rights abuses on constructions sites ahead of the World Cup.
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He said: “It is publicly available information and the annual worker’s welfare report (shows) there have been three work-related fatalities and 39 non-work-related fatalities in the past 10 years.”
The numbers of deaths among migrant workers who have built the football stadiums and other facilities are hotly disputed.
Despite these claims, The Guardian newspaperin February how 6,500 migrant deaths have been recorded in Qatar since the country was awarded the World Cup.
The Qatar World Cup is due to run from Novemeber 21 – December 18, 2022.
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