Motion for a resolution - B9-0538/2022Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on human rights in the context of the FIFA world cup in Qatar

22.11.2022 - (2022/2948(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Katalin Cseh, Abir Al‑Sahlani, Barry Andrews, Nicola Beer, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Asger Christensen, Claudia Gamon, Vlad Gheorghe, Klemen Grošelj, Svenja Hahn, Pierre Karleskind, Karin Karlsbro, Billy Kelleher, Moritz Körner, Nathalie Loiseau, Javier Nart, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Max Orville, Dragoş Pîslaru, Samira Rafaela, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu
on behalf of the Renew Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0538/2022

Procedure : 2022/2948(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Debates :
Votes :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on human rights in the context of the FIFA world cup in Qatar


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular its resolution of 21 November 2013 on Qatar: situation of migrant workers[1] and its resolution of 11 June 2015 on recent revelations on high-level corruption cases in FIFA[2],

 having regard to the United Nations (UN) 2011 guiding principles on business and human rights,

 having regard to the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on corporate sustainability due diligence and amending Directive (EU) 2019/1937 (COM/2022/71),

 having regard to the human rights policy of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football – FIFA) as edited in May 2017,

 having regard to Article 285 of Qatar’s criminal code and to its law No 17/2002 on protection of community,

 having regard to the investigative reports of the Guardian newspaper and of Human Rights Watch and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs),

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas FIFA awarded Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup in December 2010;

B. whereas Qatar enjoys the world’s highest gross domestic product per capita due to its ownership of the world’s third largest natural gas reserves; whereas 13 % of the EU’s gas imports in 2022 came from Qatar for the period from January to September 2022;

C. whereas the overwhelming majority of Qatar’s workforce is composed of migrant workers; whereas the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) lodged a complaint against Qatar with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2014, regarding its non-observance of the Forced Labour Convention of 1930 and the Labour Inspection Convention of 1947;

D. whereas the kafala or sponsorship system used in Qatar until 2016 December as a legal framework to define the relationship between migrant workers and their employers placed severe limits on workers’ rights and mobility and was condemned by labour rights groups as a form of forced labour; whereas independent investigations have repeatedly found evidence for the mistreatment of workers, including inhumane and unsafe working conditions; whereas, according to the Guardian newspaper, approximately 6 500 migrant workers have died since 2010, many of work-related causes due to extreme working conditions; whereas, irrespective of the cause of death, the percentage of young workers who have died is substantially higher than the average death rate for their age group;

E. whereas Qatar is the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to have welcomed a permanent bureau of the ILO; whereas Qatar has signed a number of partnerships with the ILO, UN organisations and EU Member States, such as a memorandum of understanding with Sweden in January 2020 and with France in March 2022, to improve workers’ rights; whereas the ILO has noted tangible progress in the past five years leading to the 2022 FIFA World Cup;

F. whereas according to officials of the US Department of Justice and Swiss prosecutors who opened a criminal investigation for corruption claims, FIFA officials may have been bribed to buy their votes to award hosting rights for the world cups in Russia and Qatar; whereas two of FIFA’s 24-person executive committee were temporarily suspended by FIFA in October 2010; whereas Saudi Arabia has announced its bid to host the 2030 World Cup;

G. whereas Qatar has undergone positive though limited steps to improve the protection of migrants’ rights, creating a compensation fund for the families of the victims of accidents in the workplace; whereas this fund is not retroactive and offers a very narrow definition of workplace accidents; whereas Human Rights Watch’s reports have pointed to many natural deaths being work-related deaths that were not investigated properly;

H. whereas Qatar has legislated, following international pressure, to prevent work on construction sites from 1 June to 15 September from 10.00 to 15.30, with a reported decrease of 70 % in the number of workers since hospitalised for heatstroke;

I. whereas Qatar’s criminal law provides for a prison sentence up to seven years for extra-marital sexual relations, including same-sex relations; whereas the vaguely worded crime of violating public morality allows for provisional detention for up to six months under Community Law 17/2002; whereas Qatar FIFA World Cup ambassador and former footballer Khalid Salman shared homophobic views against LGBTIQ people in an interview on German television on 8 November 2022; whereas 69 countries, including Qatar, continue to criminalise homosexuality; whereas LGBTIQ people are afraid of expressing their views in public in the region; whereas Qatari newspaper Doha News was censored in late 2016 after publishing an opinion piece by a gay Qatari citizen denouncing a climate of fear; whereas LGBTIQ people were arrested as recently as September 2022 by Qatari authorities solely for their sexual identity and released on condition of undergoing so-called conversion therapy, as documented by Human Rights Watch;

J. whereas Qatar voted against the renewal of the mandate of the UN’s independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the UN Human Rights Council in 2022 along with 17 other countries;

K. whereas seven football federations, including in the EU, have decided that their players can wear a rainbow-coloured ‘OneLove’ armband; whereas FIFA nevertheless decided to threaten players with a yellow card if they conveyed such a message during the World Cup;

L. whereas in 2016 FIFA signed up to the UN guiding principles on business and human rights, which compel FIFA to refrain from interfering in human rights and which require FIFA to address the negative effects of its activities in the field of human rights;

M. whereas Qatari women are still under the guardianship of their husband or male relatives;

1. Condemns Qatar’s systematic violations of the basic rights of migrant workers by Qatari authorities as well as by the companies that undertook the building of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup;

2. Deplores the lack of transparency marking the awarding of the FIFA World Cup to Qatar in 2010; condemns the clear lack of responsible risk-assessment by FIFA when assessing the suitability of Qatar to host a major international sports event; underlines that other such events have also lacked transparency and human rights standards, in particular in the case of the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sotchi, Russia; recalls its long-held view that corruption within FIFA is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted, and continues to believe the organisation has seriously damaged the image and integrity of global football;

3. Calls on the EU and its Member States to inform Parliament on a regular basis about Qatar’s social reforms, with special attention to the concrete implementation of its legislations, including by European companies in Qatar; deplores deeply that many companies, including European companies, have failed to respect their obligations concerning responsible business conduct; reiterates its call on Qatar to ratify the UN’s International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families;

4. Stresses that victims of human rights violations have legal avenues to seek justice and hold EU-based companies accountable under existing due diligence laws in some Member States; welcomes the ongoing EU-level work on the directive on corporate sustainability due diligence that will further expand such legal avenues; considers that the relevant companies have failed to respect their obligations under Directive 2014/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 amending Directive 2013/34/EU as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups[3] and those arising from internationally recognised human rights conventions;

5. Urges Qatar, the world’s richest country per capita, to provide for the retroactive compensation of the families of the thousands of victims who have died at the workplace or due to conditions there; urges Qatar to draw up a thorough review of its data collection and inquiry standards in order to increase transparency and accountability in cases of work-related injuries and death, in coordination with international organisations such as the ILO and ITUC;

6. Welcomes Qatar’s abolishment of the kafala system which meant that foreign workers’ visas and working conditions were solely in the hands of Qatari citizens, depriving them of basic rights such as the right to quit work or to leave the country; highlights the fact that many abuses still remain despite the system’s official abolition;

7. Welcomes the creation of syndicates within companies; calls, however, on Qatar to allow for national unions in line with international standards; urges Qatar to grant at least one day off per week to domestic workers;

8. Welcomes Qatar’s new legislation against heat on construction sites; calls on all countries of the GCC to adopt similar legislation and to fully implement it; encourages Qatar to proceed with deeper reforms to continue to lead GCC countries in social reforms;

9. Condemns in the strongest terms the statements made by Qatar’s FIFA World Cup ambassador and former footballer Khalid Salman; notes and welcomes the official statements made by Qatar’s political leadership that ‘everyone is welcome’ to attend, including LGBTIQ people; calls on Qatar to ensure respect for the human rights of all persons attending the 2022 World Cup, but also for the human rights of its own local community during and after the sports events; urges Qatari authorities to stop harassing and intimidating LGBTIQ people and ban any imposition of so-called conversion therapy; underlines the fact that although Qatar is relatively more open than its regional neighbours, this does not excuse such violations;

10. Acknowledges that mega sporting events can create a feeling of community and belonging, where interaction between cultures and identities creates space for unity; considers, nevertheless, that no person’s right to freedom of belief from any culture can be used to justify discrimination or ill-treatment towards others;

11. Urges FIFA to abide by its own charter and obligations under the UN guiding principles on business and human rights and to stop interfering with football federations’ decision-making on human rights matters;

12. Notes the global trend towards decriminalisation of consensual same-sex relations; calls on Qatar to repeal Article 285 of its criminal code and all other related laws; condemns the arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment of LGBTIQ persons; condemns in the strongest terms the reported cases of sexual assault in custody;

13. Urges Qatar to abolish women’s guardianship as a fundamentally flawed system harming the country’s development; encourages Qatar to lead the region in the context of the women's rights protests that have taken place in Iran since the murder of 21-year-old Mahsa Amini and the repression against women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates;

14. Notes and welcomes Qatar’s deep concern expressed following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine; welcomes Qatar’s important decisions to vote in favour of all relevant UN resolutions on the issue, in contrast to various GCC members;

15. Notes Qatar’s recent distancing from islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood following the al-Ula agreements of 2021; underlines, however, the devastating impact of its continued funding of the Muslim Brotherhood across the world on the promotion of progressive and democratic values; calls on all media outlets in the region to abide by higher media standards and promote a strong, free and independent media environment;

16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the EU Member States, as well as the Government of Qatar and the Consultative Assembly known as the Shura Council.



Last updated: 23 November 2022
Legal notice - Privacy policy