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Thursday, May 23, 2024

FIFA World Cup: Qatar Reviewing Labor Laws to Protect Migrant Laborers

Despite criticism from rights organizations and western media, Qatar is committed to review its labor laws and ensure the protection of migrant workers. Qatar is all set to appear as a tourist agency in the post-world cup era. Is it achievable?

As the State of Qatar is all set to organize FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019, there are several questions with regard to extreme weather conditions which need attention and careful response. The FIFA world cup is going to be a huge event which is likely to bring in several big names in the world of football as well as sports enthusiasts from across the world. This event has been scheduled from 11 to 21 December this year.

Qatar and its labor laws have been under the criticism ever since the country was named the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The government in Qatar has repeatedly promised to ensure the safety of workers.

There have been other allegations of being a too conservative Muslim society for fans who are homosexual couples or consumers of alcohol.

Qatar has been addressing every allegation and challenge posed by human rights organizations. “I would like to assure any fan, of any gender, (sexual) orientation, religion, race to rest assured that Qatar is one of safest countries in the world – and they’ll all be welcome here,” recently said chief executive of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Nasser al-Khater. Mr. al-Khater.

Also, there are some reports which claim that a deal is about to be signed which may allow alcohol and other eatables for the foreigners. The Qatari government is also expected to offer subsidy on alcohol.

The contractors are now required to run heat stress management plans and provide temperature and humidity readings during the summer period.

However, some western media outlets claim that in Qatar migrant laborers are being forced to work in ‘searing temperatures’ which is dangerous and gross violation of fundamental human rights. A report published in The Guardian points out that “every year hundreds of workers – many young men between 25 and 35 years old – die while working in Qatar. The majority of these deaths are attributed to cardiovascular causes or “natural death” by the Qatari authorities”.

Similarly, according to recent, Amnesty International  “hundreds of migrant workers” have been forced to give up on “justice” and return home “penniless” since March 2018.

Interestingly, Qatar is viewing sports and games not only events but an opportunity to expand its tourism industry with an intention to introduce several tourist destinations in the country. The tourism sector, in Qatar, is offering new avenues to the investors and businesses with a remarkable growth which has reportedly reached 11% as of August.

FIFA Club World Cup & Qatar’s Unbearable Heat

The FIFA Club World Cup is an international men’s association football competition organized by the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s global governing body. It attracts people from across the world to watch the tournament which helps the host country to present its soft image before the world.

The authorities in Qatar have made it clear that every possible step is being taken to ensure the safety of workers from heat-related injuries. The government has introduced a work ban that does not allow manual labor in unshaded outdoor areas between 11:30 and 3 pm from mid-June to August.

Read more: Summer in Qatar program continues to amaze tourists and locals

Qatar’s Government Communications Office said, “Qatar has made substantial progress on labor reforms and it continues to work with NGOs, including the International Labor Organization, to ensure that these reforms are far-reaching and effective.” The authorities have also instructed employers that laborers should not work more than five hours during the summer period.

The Qatar’s Supreme Committee, which is in-charge of worker’s welfare on the World Cup, has also clarified that a series of measures have been taken to deal with the risk of heat exposure. The contractors are now required to run heat stress management plans and provide temperature and humidity readings during the summer period. This year it said it also provided thousands of workers with cooling towels and cooling vests.

Moreover, the Qatari authorities and the Supreme Committee also said it had conducted research with the International Labor Organisation (ILO) and climate academics to assess the impact of workplace heat stress on workers, which looked at mitigation measures including on-site cooling rooms and improving rest break schedules.

Analysts believe that Qatar may plant more trees in order to protect the environment and deal with the challenge of heat.