Qatar, FIFA jointly publish World Cup rights pledges

Source:AFP Published: 2020/1/21 22:28:40

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates with the trophy after winning the FIFA World Cup final in Moscow. Photo: IC


Qatar and FIFA published Tuesday the first jointly issued legacy planning strategy ahead of a football World Cup, with pledges on labor and LGBT rights alongside protections for activists and journalists.

Qatar has faced intense scrutiny from rights groups over its treatment of migrant labourers working on construction projects ahead of the 2022 tournament as well as its laws criminalising homosexual acts.

The 112-page "Sustainability Strategy" also sets out commitments on making the tournament inclusive for groups including the disabled, boosting economic development, protecting the environment and promoting ethical business practices.

"A total of 22 objectives have been described in detail, together with more than 70 concrete initiatives and programmes to deliver the strategy," FIFA and the Qatari Supreme Committee organisers said in a statement.

On workers' rights, the document said Qatar would promote "decent working and living conditions and fair recruitment, including effective access" to remedial measures.

"Efforts include measures to protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all the associated workers, especially migrant workers in Qatar, and to avoid any forced and child labor."

Gulf analyst James Dorsey said the strategy "puts pressure on Qatar by definition."

"Qatar may very well welcome this and they have been involved in drafting this document," he said. "It helps them project themselves as standing up for human rights and values."

But Dorsey warned that while "FIFA has these lofty principles" it was unclear how their implementation would be monitored.

The strategy also contains a pledge to certify all stadiums and permanent offices under rigorous Global Sustainability Assessment System criteria to minimize environmental impacts. 

Posted in: SOCCER

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