World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Qatar: World Cup worker welfare standards not delivered

Qatar World Cup Workers’ Standards: no legal enforcement, no worker rights

Brussels, 11 February 2014 (ITUC OnLine): Qatar’s new World Cup worker welfare standards do not deliver fundamental rights for workers and merely reinforce the discredited kafala system of employer control over workers, warned the International Trade Union Confederation.

“Forced labour continues in Qatar today with no workers’ rights. No migrant worker can be protected by any safety standard unless they have the right to collectively speak out about wages and conditions at work,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC.

The kafala visa sponsorship system ties workers to their employers, as they cannot leave the country or move to another employer without permission. Qatari law denies migrant workers the right to form or join trade unions.

“Not a single change has been made or recommended to Qatar’s laws that deny workers their fundamental rights. No workplace voice or representative is allowed for migrant workers in Qatar. A worker welfare officer appointed by the employer is no substitute for a duly nominated worker representative.

“The promise to provide freedom of movement for workers is a sham, as Qatar enforces segregation of workers on a racial basis.

“These standards are built on an old, discredited self-monitoring system which has failed in the past in Bangladesh and other countries where thousands of workers have died.

“With no legal compliance mechanism such as a tribunal, there is no possibility of enforcing even these provisions,” said Sharan Burrow.

The Supreme Committee Welfare Charter:

• Foresees the use of illiterate workers who can use a thumb print to sign documents;

• Provides one social worker for 3500 employees, who is able to spend at most 41 seconds per week dealing with each worker;

• Sets up a telephone hot line for worker complaints with no detail of who will answer the phones, or the process as to how grievances will be handled. The existing hotline has been a complete failure;

• Would mean labour camps with a total area of 8 million square meters are needed for the 500,000 extra workers that Qatar says will be required to build the World Cup;

• Fails to set up a system to record deaths of workers or to ensure autopsies;

• Recommends recruitment agencies approved by the Ministry of Labour, who routinely charge fees despite laws that prohibit these practices;

• Has no reference to ‘heat’ in regard to working conditions in a country where workers toil in up to 50 degrees for half the year;

• Indicates no intention to prosecute contractors for breaches; instead workers are simply sent home to their country;

• Only applies to a limited number of workers in Qatar.

“If FIFA are serious about Qatar continuing to host the World Cup in 2022, they will demand freedom of association such that workers can be represented by those they choose.

“They will demand immediate steps to end kafala, immediate steps to give workers the rights to negotiate wages and conditions and set up effective legal compliance through a tribunal system for complaints,” said Sharan Burrow.

“This charter is a sham for workers. It promises health and safety but provides no credible enforcement. It promises employment standards but gives migrant workers no rights to collectively bargain or join a trade union. It promises equality but does not provide a guarantee of a minimum wage.

“Unlawful practices will only continue with these provisions, which reinforce a system of forced labour with kafala. Qatar’s announcement is reaction to public pressure, but it won’t take the pressure off workers.

“Similar provisions announced by the Qatar Foundation nearly a year ago have made no difference. The death toll of workers in Qatar has increased. Qatar has to change its laws, nothing else will do,” said Sharan Burrow.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news