Qatar refuses any compensation funds for migrant workers at World Cup construction sites

Qatar is rejecting NGO calls for the creation of a compensation fund for migrants working on FIFA World Cup construction sites in the wealthy Gulf state, its labor minister said in an exclusive interview with the AFP.

Ali Ben Samikh Al-Marri qualifies these calls from NGOs as “communication shots”deploring the fact that various organizations and certain countries are trying to “discrediting Qatar with deliberately misleading claims”and sometimes “motivated by racism”.

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“Where are the victims? »

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are leading a campaign to obtain compensation for workers who are victims of” abuse “ (deaths, injuries, unpaid wages, etc.) from world football’s governing body, Fifa, and the host country of the 2022 World Cup, which begins on November 20.

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“Every death is a tragedy [mais] there are no criteria for establishing this fund” compensation, says the minister. “Where are the victims? do you have the names? »

Ali Ben Samikh Al-Marri recalled that his country had set up a compensation fund in 2018 for workers who do not receive their wages, putting forward the figure of 320 million euros paid in 2022 alone. “If a person entitled to compensation has not received it, let them come forward and we will help them”he insisted, adding that Qatar is ready to examine cases dating back more than a decade.

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‘Motivated by racism’

As criticism escalates ahead of the event, organizations and countries are trying to “discrediting Qatar with deliberately misleading claims”, also estimated the Minister of Labor. According to him, some foreign politicians make the Gulf country “an arena to solve their own political problems”.

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These criticisms are sometimes “motivated by racism”he adds.

“They don’t want to allow a small country, an Arab country, a Muslim country, to organize the World Cup”.“I don’t want to party on graves”: go there, watch or boycott the World Cup in Qatar, the dilemma of supporters

Fifa should set aside a minimum of 420 million euros to provide reparations to the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who suffered human rights abuses in Qatar during preparations for the 2022 World Cup, Amnesty International had written in a report made public in May. Ali Ben Samikh Al-Marri said on Wednesday that such a compensation fund was not feasible.

Fifa, for its part, had made it known in mid-October that there was a “dialogue in progress” for measures in favor of workers on construction sites.

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