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SBD Global/February 12, 2014/International Football

Qatar 2022 World Cup Organizers Publish 'Workers' Charter' To Protect Migrant Employees

Organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have published a "Workers' Charter" in an attempt to protect the rights of migrant employees, according to Richard Conway of the BBC. The new 50-page document has "been developed in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation." The Int'l Trade Union Confederation, however, said that "its proposals do not go far enough." As well as 185 deaths last year, it is believed that "a significant number of workers in Qatar suffered injuries as a result of unsafe working practices" (BBC, 2/11). BLOOMBERG reported the committee said on Tuesday in an e-mailed statement that contractors "will be required to set up bank accounts for workers so Qatari officials can keep track of pay, and housing will be monitored for hygiene and cramped conditions." Rules "will be enforced by outside auditors and made public" (BLOOMBERG, 2/11). In London, Owen Gibson wrote "it is essentially an updated version of the worker's charter published last March," designed to underline the extent to which the World Cup organizing committee is taking the issue seriously. However, it only deals with the construction of the stadiums, "which is due to begin in earnest this year." Early work has begun on Al Wakrah stadium and four other stadiums "will be in various stages of construction throughout the year." The charter "does not deal with the wider issue of holding to account the myriad contractors and subcontractors working on Vision 2030 and the infrastructure that will underpin the World Cup" (GUARDIAN, 2/11). Also in London, Ben Rumsby wrote the "kafala" employment system, which ties migrants to their sponsor companies, "has been blamed for these abuses and there have been calls for it to be abolished" (TELEGRAPH, 2/11).
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