Fifa deadline to Qatar on labour report
Zurich, February 1, 2014
Qatar has been given two weeks to provide a report to Fifa on how it has improved working conditions for labourers in the 2022 World Cup host nation.
"Fifa expects to receive information on the specific steps that Qatar has taken since president Sepp Blatter's last trip to Doha in November 2013 to improve the welfare and living conditions of migrant workers," world soccer's ruling body said in a statement.
"The application of international norms of behaviour is a Fifa principle and part of all of Fifa's activities and is expected from all hosts of its events.
"Fifa firmly believes in the power the World Cup can have in triggering positive social change in Qatar including improving the labour rights and conditions of migrant workers," the statement read.
The report will eventually be presented by Fifa executive committee member Theo Zwanziger to a hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels on February 13.
"We are currently in the middle of an intensive process which is exclusively aimed at improving the situation of workers in Qatar," said Zwanziger.
"Ultimately what we need are clear rules and steps that will build trust and ensure that the situation, which is unacceptable at the moment, improves in a sustainable manner."
Amnesty International and the International Trade Union Confederation have criticised the treatment of migrant labourers in Qatar.
Amnesty hit out at Qatar for "non-payment of wages, harsh and dangerous working conditions and shocking standards of accommodation".
The European Parliament joined the controversy in November when it passed a resolution expressing concern at the plight of the workers.
However, it stopped short of calling for the scrapping of the Kafala, or sponsorship, system under which employees cannot change jobs or leave the country without the permission of their sponsors. - Reuters