The European Parliament (EP) this Thursday asked Qatar and the International Football Federation (FIFA) to compensate the families of thousands of migrant workers who died in the country since the construction of infrastructure for the world championship began.
In a resolution passed in plenary in Strasbourg (France), the EP also noted that Qatar won the race to organize the world championship “amid credible allegations of bribery and corruption”.
MEPs described FIFA’s corruption as “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted” and lamented that the process of awarding the World Cup to Qatar was not transparent.
FIFA “seriously damaged the image and integrity of football worldwide”, considered the MEPs in the resolution, in which they called for reforms in the international body.
These reforms are expected to include the introduction of “democratic and transparent procedures” in awarding football world championships.
MEPs also defended the “rigorous implementation of human rights and sustainability criteria for host countries” of the tournaments.
In this appeal, they highlight EU countries with major national football leagues, such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
The EP also defended that international sporting events “should not be granted to countries where fundamental and human rights are violated and where systematic gender violence prevails”.
In the resolution, the EP recognized that Qatar allocated 320 million dollars (more than 307 million euros, at current exchange rates) to victims of wage abuses, through the so-called “Workers Support and Insurance Fund”.
However, many workers and their families were excluded from the application of the fund, so MEPs defended its extension to all those affected since the start of work related to Qatar2022.
Enlargement must also cover the death of workers and other violations of human rights, according to the resolution.
MEPs also appealed for FIFA to contribute to a program to help workers’ families, compensating them for “the conditions they were subjected to”.
In the resolution, MEPs recognized the “important contribution of migrant workers” to Qatar’s economy and the football world cup.
According to the EP, the foreign labor force in Qatar is more than two million people, representing about 94 percent of the country’s workforce.
MEPs called on Qatar to carry out “thorough investigations into the deaths of migrant workers”, while acknowledging the country’s efforts to “improve the working conditions and rights of migrant workers”.
They also recognized that the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) “consider that the reforms carried out in Qatar are an example for the Gulf region”.
They asked, therefore, that Qatar continue to collaborate with the ILO in the reforms of its legislation.
MEPs also reminded European companies operating in Qatar that they must respect workers’ rights by “the same level of due diligence required in the EU”.
In the resolution, MEPs also regretted the abuses perpetrated by the Qatari authorities on the LGBTQ+ community.
These abuses include resorting to legislation that allows for the provisional detention of LGBTQ+ people “without charge or trial for a maximum period of six months”, they denounced.