• Saturday, Jun 06, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:38 am

Pakistan insists on Qatar World Cup workers' rights

  • Published at 09:07 pm June 25th, 2019
Workers are seen at a construction site in Doha, Qatar AFP

 Qatar was running out of time to stamp out widespread and serious exploitation of tens of thousands of migrant labourers, many of them from South Asia

Pakistan will insist on proper labour rights for an army of its citizens working on Qatar's football World Cup infrastructure, the country's foreign minister said Monday, after repeated reports of abuses.

The gas-rich Gulf state has embarked on a huge construction programme to get ready for the 2022 tournament, drawing intense scrutiny from rights and labour campaigners.

Earlier this year Amnesty International warned that despite "nascent reforms", Qatar was running out of time to stamp out widespread and serious exploitation of tens of thousands of migrant labourers, many of them from South Asia.

There have been reports of wages going unpaid, passports being held by unscrupulous bosses and some labourers working up to 148 days in a row.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi welcomed Qatari plans to offer his countrymen up to 100,000 work permits but insisted World Cup workers' rights must be respected.

"Certainly we will ask our embassy and we will ask the recruiting agencies to give better terms," he told AFP during a visit to Brussels. 

"Where we feel Pakistani labour is contributing, we feel they should be looked after as well."

Qatar insists it is committed to labour reform.

Since it was chosen as World Cup host it has introduced a monthly minimum wage of 750 riyals ($206) and partially scrapped the exit visa system which required workers to obtain their employers' permission before leaving the country.

Qureshi welcomed the changes but said Pakistan would push for more.

"I think other facilities like health cover and stuff like that can be negotiated and we will talk with them about that," he said.

Qureshi's trip to Brussels comes as cash-strapped Pakistan seeks foreign investment, with the government forced to announce an austerity budget after securing a $6 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

After talks with senior EU officials on Tuesday, the minister will sign a "strategic engagement plan" with the bloc's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail