Qatar is compliant with ILO and FIFA concerning migrant workers

DOHA (Parliament Politics Magazine) – The Democracy Centre for Transparency, DCT research team has discovered an expanding PR effort across Europe by the United Arab Emirates’ PR and propaganda arms. The campaign includes spreading false figures and facts on the fatalities of World Cup employees throughout Europe, as well as urging football associations to boycott the tournament.

Over the last two years, DCT teams have tracked writings critical of the Qatar World Cup, analysing their sources, the statements they make, and the sources they propose. Their investigation found that the information published by the Guardian Newspaper contained false and misleading information, which was given to them by a public relations firm and a human rights organisation with ties to the United Arab Emirates.

Their research team can corroborate that the Humanity United organisation, which is based in the United States and has ties to the UAE, is responsible for all of the incorrect World Cup coverage in the Guardian newspaper. Humanity United does not address slavery in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, or other GCC countries, instead focusing solely on the World Cup in Qatar, which reflects their role in the bad PR narrative. The Guardian and Humanity United both failed to note how Qatar has complied with all ILO and FIFA regulations. Qatar’s efforts and caring for international workers were applauded by both agencies.

The Qatar government had signed an agreement with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2017 after years of mounting international pressure, promising to combat widespread labour exploitation and align its laws and practises with international labour standards, and offering a glimmer of hope for those who have contributed so much to the country and its dream of hosting the World Cup, according to Amnesty International. The complaint lodged with the ILO was resolved in that year.

True, 6,500 migrant workers had died in the last ten years, but this is based on a total population of around 1.3 million from the listed countries. This equates to a 50 per 100,000. Despite the fact that the headline figure appears to be high, it is less than the regional average for migrant workers, which is about 85 per 100,000 according to Euroscope, a Brussels-based think-tank. 

Addressing the other misleading statement, the article further stated that there had been 37 deaths among workers directly tied to the construction of World Cup stadiums, the report claims, which was false. Each of those lost lives was a tragedy, but they would want to stress out that fatalities in the construction business were not unique to Qatar; in the UK, the Health and Safety Executive reported 40 fatal injuries to construction workers and four to members of the public in the financial year 2019/20.

It only went to show that the expression “There are three types of lying: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” which was sometimes incorrectly credited to Benjamin Disraeli, still remained true.

Real facts that haven’t been included in the report on worker welfare in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup

Other media outlets along with the Guardian have under-reported the following facts. They demonstrate how Qatar has managed to create a system that is competitive with the world’s best welfare system. The information below comes from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (the organisation mandated to deliver the world cup). Their workers on the ground and researchers in Brussels have double-checked the information below.

The SC carried out essential groundwork shortly after Qatar acquired the hosting rights for Qatar 2022 to fully analyse the environment and identify any shortcomings in welfare policies. This led to the creation of the Workers’ Charter in 2013, which served as the framework for the Workers’ Welfare Standards (WWS) published in the year 2014, and updated later in the years 2016 and 2018.

The WWS are contractually obligatory and are part of the SC’s tendering process. They were created to safeguard the health, safety, and wellbeing of their employees by focusing on three essential pillars: ethical recruitment, housing, and working conditions. The SC keeps track of how their standards affect employees and how far they’ve come in improving their well-being. This is accomplished through a thorough reporting system that is implemented both internally by the WWD and externally by Impactt Ltd.