European parliament passes Qatar World Cup resolution

Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:29pm EST
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By Brian Homewood

(Reuters) - The European Parliament joined the controversy over 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar's treatment of migrant workers on Thursday when it passed a resolution expressing concern at their plight.

However, it stopped short of calling for the abolition of the Kafala, or sponsorship, system under which employees cannot change jobs or leave the country without the permission of their sponsors.

"The European Parliament is concerned about the situation of the migrant workers in Qatar," said the resolution. "MEPs call on the Qatari authorities to stop detaining individuals for 'running away' from their employers.

"MEPs note that at least 500,000 more migrant workers are expected in Qatar to accelerate work in preparation for the 2022 football World Cup there," it added following a session in Strasbourg.

"(They) urge 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 labor.

"MEPs appeal 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."


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.   Continued...