Thursday, 26 March 2020
Forum of Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) demands the International Labor Organization (ILO) and FIFA, today Thursday, to intervene to protect expatriate workers in Qatar that working in facilities of World Cup from the danger of spread of the emerging corona virus (Covid-19). Qatar is one of the most Gulf countries that have witnessed infections with the deadly virus during the past few days.
Amnesty International (AI) has previously accused the Qatari regime of concealing the numbers of people infected with the emerging coronavirus among the expatriate workers, and the Qatari authorities refused to treat them, placing large numbers of them in unqualified hospitals and ignoring them to provide appropriate health care inside the World Cup facilities workers’ camps. The AI indicated that they work in inhumane living and working conditions, which leads to high death rates among them.
Qatar has been exposed to severe human rights criticism in recent years as a result of the extremely high levels of forced labor, slavery and human trafficking within the country, and in light of the almost complete absence of judicial controls or any form of government deterrence to curb these practices.
FDHRD affirmed its solidarity with the human rights condemnations of Doha’s rejection the instructions of international organizations to treat workers by equipping a full medical hospital. In addition to its refusal to return for treatment in their country, and threatening those trying to travel, which led to many of them demonstrating in the streets of Doha. FDHRD also condemns the Qatari authorities which rejected the recommendations of human rights organizations to provide new accommodation for workers to prevent the spread of the Corona virus infection among them.
FDHRD emphasizes that the International Labor Organization (ILO) should intervene to protect migrant workers in Qatar, and urge Qatar to join the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families issued in 1990. The Convention gives migrant workers and members of their families the right to obtain effective protection from the state from Physical injury and receiving any medical care that is urgently required to save their lives or to avoid irreparable harm to their health, on the basis of equal treatment with nationals of the concerned country. Also, they are not deprived of this emergency medical attention because of any irregularity with respect to residence or use.
In the case of Qatar and the involvement of foreign workers in World Cup facilities, there is also the responsibility of the International Football Association Board (FIFA) to prevent abuses, which occurred as a result of its business operations related to the World Cup. This means that FIFA, in line with its Human Rights Policy, must ensure that workers’ rights are respected in the construction of World Cup stadiums, and that it also uses its powers to ensure that rights are respected in a wider range of infrastructure projects. necessary to hold the 2022 World Cup.