Amnesty International has once again strongly criticized Qatar

For nearly eleven years, since the scandalous victory of the 2022 World Cup, the world has been looking forward to Qatar. Little by little, pressure for reforms increased on the principality, and about a year before the tournament, AI drew up a sober budget.

Amnesty International has again criticized the circumstances surrounding the 2022 World Cup.
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In their report “Reality Check 2021”, the organization’s experts came to the conclusion that “progress will slow in 2021 and that old abusive practices have re-emerged.” In other words: Despite the change in the law in the summer of 2020, there is still a heavy reliance of guest workers on their employers. The emirate has already agreed to make it easier to change jobs or leave the country, thus weakening the exploitative practices of the so-called sponsorship system.

“However, workers have told Amnesty International that they still face significant obstacles to changing jobs and are pressing to survive,” the report said. He continued, “Qatar has introduced a number of reforms in favor of expatriate workers since 2017, but these reforms have not been implemented properly, which means that exploitation continues.” Several of the emirate’s sporting partners praised the alleged progress that resulted from the critical rhetoric that followed the awarding of the World Cup.

Implementation of reforms has largely stopped

But in practice, there seem to be significant gaps. On the other hand, the reforms that have been initiated are unique in the region, as stresses Katja Muller Fahlbosch. “However, the implementation of the reforms is lukewarm and inconsistent. In the past year, the implementation of reforms has stalled significantly, although the international pressure on Qatar has been great,” says the expert for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International Germany. She talks about the resistance of the Qatari economy and calls on the government to “constantly punish violations of the labor law and bring abusive employers to justice. If this does not happen, then the Qatari government should not be surprised by questions about the political will for real reforms to be raised.”

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Qatar 2022: The road from the World Cup award to today

about this subject

  • In December 2010, Qatar will award the 2022 World Cup.
  • Five years later, FIFA decided for the first time to host the World Cup in the winter months.
  • For eleven years, non-sporting themes have dominated the World Cup: it’s about vote buying, the exploitation of workers on construction sites and basic human rights.

Müller-Fahlbush is of the view that “FIFA, as the host country of the FIFA World Cup, in accordance with the UN Leipzig Principles for Business and Human Rights, has an obligation to ensure that human rights are not violated and to take remedial action if this occurs.” The World Assembly should consider independently The human rights situation is regularly and carefully and should not depend on third parties for this examination. “In order to create transparency and credibility, FIFA must also publicly report grievances and the measures taken to address them.”

Sports have problems with public criticism of Qatar

For the public and criticism of Qatar, the sport sometimes has its problems, even if the inhumane conditions of guest workers in the desert country have been repeatedly reported. No matter how many deaths are detected at construction sites. Officials like to say that things should be discussed.

Timetable: The most important dates until the 2022 World Cup

“Bayern Munich has a partnership with Qatar Airways and I’ve never been a Pharisee, if I may say so,” said former CEO of Bayern Munich Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “We got good money from this contract.” Munich residents will be socially and politically involved in the principality – how exactly, that is the question. Rummenigge was not wrong when he explained: “You have to basically say that of all the Arab countries in Qatar at the moment, there are the best or greatest improvements in terms of human rights and labour.” So much for the theory, which the latest AI report portrays at least as incomplete in practice.

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German Football Association campaign on the shirts? “Good starting point”

Muller Fahlbosch praised the fact that the German Football Association has adopted a position on the World Cup in Qatar. “The players of the national team have also sent an important signal with their campaign on the shirts. All this is a good starting point. In our opinion, the public statements should not be unique if they want to make a difference,” he said. AI expert.. to keep up the pressure.

“In our opinion, the federation, as an important member of FIFA and UEFA, can do more to ensure that human rights in sport also become a central issue at the international level for the UAE, throwing its own human rights principles away, then the German federation can and should to take a public stand.

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