The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and FIFA hailed the reforms adopted by Qatar to protect human rights and expatriate workers.
This came during a seminar held in Brussels by the European Parliament, that discussed the importance of respecting human rights standards and laws during the organisation of major sporting events.
The representatives of ILO and FIFA stressed that Qatar has made substantial changes in recent years to ensure its commitment to respect workers rights in general, not just World Cup facilities' workers.
They added that Qatar adopts the highest standards of safety and security during the construction of 2022 World Cup stadiums, in addition to enacting new laws, notably the abolition of the sponsorship law, and the law of regulation of entry and exit of expatriates, which obviates the need to issue exit permit to allow expatriates' travel.
In her speech at the seminar, Chief of the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch of the ILO Governance and Tripartism Department, Beate Andrees, said that the progress made by Qatar in these areas is indeed a model for development.
Andrees added that the ILO is present in Qatar to promote the development of workers' rights in the country. She said the ILO started its work in Qatar by following up the conditions of the workers, their residence, their working conditions, their access to the appropriate health environment and the safety conditions required in the workplace in accordance with international law and ILO standards.
After several years of discussions, particularly in 2017, the ILO has made substantial progress with Qatar by signing an agreement that includes a comprehensive programme of technical co-operation between ILO and Qatar, she said.
FIFA's head of Sustainability and Diversity Federico Addiechi stressed in his speech the importance of the integration of human rights into major sporting events.
Speaking about the important achievements made with regard to preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Addiechi said that FIFA worked closely during the last three years with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) to follow up the completion of the infrastructure and stadiums of the World Cup in Qatar.
He added that SC has been, and continues to be, a great partner, especially with regard to human rights.
He pointed out that Qatar has launched a reform programme to change the labor laws, in co-ordination with ILO, adding that FIFA witnessed significant changes in the area of labour laws.
In terms of respect for the rules, FIFA has confirmed for years that it has a responsibility to ensure that the highest standards are maintained in the World Cup facilities and stadiums, Addiechi added.
Addiechi expressed satisfaction at the fact that experts and the civil society have affirmed that SC respects the standards of World Cup facilities.
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