Motion for a resolution - B9-0539/2022Motion for a resolution
B9-0539/2022

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of 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

Ernest Urtasun, Mounir Satouri, Bronis Ropė, Ville Niinistö, Rosa D’Amato, Viola von Cramon‑Taubadel, Ana Miranda, Kim Van Sparrentak
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

Procedure : 2022/2948(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
B9-0539/2022
Texts tabled :
B9-0539/2022
Debates :
Texts adopted :

B9‑0539/2022

European Parliament resolution on the situation of human rights in the context of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar

(2022/2948(RSP))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Qatar, in particular its resolution of 21 November 2013 on Qatar: situation of migrant workers[1],

 having regard to the joint communication of 18 May 2022 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Commission on a strategic partnership with the Gulf (JOIN(2022)0013) and to the Council conclusions of 20 June 2022,

 having regard to the 4th EU-Qatar human rights dialogue held in Brussels on 12 September 2022,

 having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families of 18 December 1990,

 having regard to the announcement by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) of 2 December 2010 regarding the selection of Qatar as the venue for the 2022 Football World Cup,

 having regard to May 2017 edition of FIFA’s Human Rights Policy,

 having regard to Qatar’s ratification of the International Labour Organization Convention concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour (C029) on 12 March 1998,

 having regard to the reports by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International on the situation of Qatar’s construction workers ahead of the World Cup,

 having regard to the report entitled ‘Qatar: Security Forces Arrest, Abuse LGBT People’ published by HRW on 24 October 2022,

 having regard to Article 285 of Qatar’s Criminal Code and to Law No 17 of 2002 on Protection of Community,

 having regard to the United Nations’ 2011 Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR),

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

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

A. whereas in 2010 Qatar was awarded the right to host the menʼs football World Cup 2022; whereas in 2020 the United States Department of Justice confirmed that representatives working for Qatar had bribed FIFA officials to secure hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup in men’s football; whereas more than half the people involved in the votes for the 2022 World Cup, including the former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, have been implicated in or investigated for some form of alleged corruption or illegitimate practice;

B. whereas FIFA awarded Qatar the World Cup without performing any human rights due diligence and without conditions about protections for the migrant workers in place; whereas FIFA has repeatedly stated its commitment to the protection of human rights and sustainability but still does not live up to them; whereas FIFA is set to make USD 6.1 billion in revenue from the men’s football World Cup 2022;

C. whereas in 2017 the ILO lodged a complaint against Qatar for its failure to implement the Forced Labour Convention;

D. whereas in 2018 the ILO inaugurated its first project office in Qatar;

E. whereas in Qatar there are an estimated 1.35 million foreign nationals, which make up some 94 % of the workforce; whereas migrants are employed mainly in construction, services and domestic works; whereas because of this number Qatar has the highest ratio of migrant workers to domestic population in the world;

F. whereas human rights groups and several international newspapers have reported on thousands of deaths of foreign workers; whereas a large share of them reportedly died of heart failure or workplace accidents; whereas the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade and beyond remain unexplained;

G. whereas many foreign workers were forced into debt while working in Qatar due to illegal recruitment fees and rampant wage theft; whereas gruelling working conditions in extreme heat expose foreign workers to illness, injury and death;

H. whereas in the last five years Qatar has initiated laudable reforms of its labour laws, in particular the repeal of the ‘no objections certificate’, the adoption of a minimum wage, a joint complaint mechanism for foreign workers and the opening of five new labour courts; whereas, however, many of the laws and practices that discriminate against foreign workers remain in place, such as arbitrary deductions or non-payment of wages, passport confiscation, harsh working conditions, unpaid overtime, restricted access to the judicial system and the charge of absconding;

I. whereas the latest Global Organised Crime Index classifies Qatar as a high-risk country for transnational human trafficking and human smuggling;

J. whereas Article 285 of Qatar’s Criminal Code punishes extramarital sex, including same-sex relations, with up to seven years in prison; whereas arbitrary arrests of LGBTIQ people have reportedly been based on Law No 17 of 2002 on Protection of Community, which allows for provisional detention without charge or trial for up to six months;

K. whereas HRW reported in October 2022 that Qatari law enforcement had arbitrarily arrested LGBTIQ persons and subjected them to ill-treatment while in detention; whereas HRW documented six cases of severe and repeated beatings and five cases of sexual harassment in police custody between 2019 and 2022; whereas security forces have arrested people in public spaces solely on the grounds of their gender expression and have unlawfully searched their phones, violating their right to privacy; whereas transgender detainees have been specifically ordered to attend ‘conversion therapy’ at a government-sponsored ‘behavioural healthcare’ centre as a precondition for release; whereas the actions of the authorities inevitably create a feeling of oppression, practise discrimination and violate the human rights and mental health of those targeted;

L. whereas Khalid Salman, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Ambassador, publicly described homosexuality as ‘damage in the mind’ during an interview with ZDF, a Germany TV channel, on 8 November 2022;

M. whereas there are reports that World Cup attendees visibly wearing t-shirts or hats with the rainbow image have been denied entrance into premises, breaching the principle that sporting events should be accessible for everyone;

N. whereas FIFA has exerted pressure to ensure team captains do not display the ‘One Love’ armband they had previously committed to wear, under threat of sporting sanctions;

O. whereas in the 12 years since Qatar was awarded the men’s football World Cup, the country has spent USD 300 billion preparing the sports event, making it the most expensive World Cup ever;

P. whereas environmental groups have demonstrated that FIFA’s claims that the men’s football World Cup is carbon neutral are seriously misleading; whereas the actual CO2 emissions of stadium construction have been estimated to be eight times higher than the reported figures; whereas the carbon credits purchased to offset the event’s CO2 emissions will most likely not have a sufficiently positive impact; whereas Greenpeace Middle East have accused the organisers of ‘greenwashing’;

Q. whereas according to media reports in the New York Times, Qatar offered fans from countries whose national football team is participating in the men’s football World Cup free tickets, free flights and accommodation in Qatar, if they agreed not to criticise Qatar and report social media posts made by other fans critical of Qatar;

R. whereas according to the Guardian, the Qatari government made gifts to British Members of Parliament worth GBP 251 208 in the 12 months to October 2022, including luxury hotel stays, business-class flights and tickets to horse-racing events, in exchange for positive statements about Qatar;

S. whereas European privacy regulators have warned fans not to download the Qatar World Cup app, as it poses serious privacy and security risks;

1. Condemns the fact that thousands of low-paid workers lost their lives to build eight stadiums, an airport expansion, a new metro, many hotels and miles of new roads for the men’s FIFA football World Cup in Qatar; denounces the fact that workers’ deaths were not investigated but considered ‘natural causes’ or ‘cardiac arrest’; criticises the fact that the families of migrant workers that lost their lives have not been compensated;

2. Is concerned that hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have faced systematic abuse and exploitation in Qatar, with many working in unbearable and dangerous working conditions;

3. Calls on the Qatari government to acknowledge the many unnecessary deaths of migrant workers and to visibly commemorate the lives and contributions of migrant workers at the football World Cup in Qatar;

4. Calls on Qatar and FIFA to establish a comprehensive remediation fund of an amount at least equivalent to the USD 440 million World Cup prize money, to address rampage wage theft, injuries and thousands of uninvestigated and uncompensated deaths;

5. Encourages Qatar to continue and accelerate the reform of its labour system, dismantle remaining discriminatory laws, close implementation gaps and significantly improve working conditions for migrant workers;

6. Calls on the Qatari authorities to end abuse of foreign workers by their employers, particularly domestic workers - many of whom are women - by training inspectors to detect forced labour practices and investigate such cases in order to hold abusive employers to account; recommends bringing domestic workers under the scope of labour legislation;

7. Urges the Qatari authorities to investigate and certify the death of migrant workers as well as provide compensation to families in cases where workers died due to their working conditions;

8. Encourages Qatari authorities to fully dismantle the kafala system, starting by abolishing the charge of ‘absconding’ and penalising employers who use such practices as tools for control;

9. Holds the view that although Qatar laudably introduced a minimum wage in 2020, wages remain low and are frequently paid late or not at all; calls on Qatari authorities to increase the minimum wage, end the discrimination in pay between different nationalities of foreign workers and ensure that wages are paid in full and on time;

10. Calls on Qatar to abolish all recruitment fees for foreign workers, which trap them in debt spirals;

11. Points out that the right of association and to self-organisation should be recognised for all workers, including migrants; calls on the Qatari government to ensure that workers have the right to associate freely without retaliation and safe and secure access to justice;

12. Calls on the Qatari government to strengthen the role of the ILO by allowing it a permanent representation and by ratifying its conventions on freedom of association for workers;

13. Welcomes the fact that Qatar became a State Party to the ICCPR and the ICESCR in 2018; strongly encourages Qatar as well as other Gulf countries to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families;

14. Calls on Qatar and all Gulf countries to ratify all ILO Conventions, including on migrant workers, freedom of association, the right to organise and collective bargaining, on domestic workers and on private employment agencies;

15. Condemns the routine arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment to which LGBTIQ persons are subjected in Qatar as a result of government-sponsored discrimination; condemns in the strongest terms the reported cases of sexual assault in detention;

16. Calls on Qatari authorities to repeal Article 285 of the Criminal Code and all other laws used to criminalise consensual same-sex sexual relations;

17. Calls on Qatari authorities to ensure respect for the human rights of all persons attending World Cup 2022, including international guests, and that no person is subjected to arbitrary detention or ill-treatment; shares the concerns of EU data protection authorities regarding the use of Qatar infection-tracking and World Cup apps as spyware; urges Qatar to permanently guarantee the human rights of all its residents, and not only World Cup spectators;

18. Recalls in particular the active involvement of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in the selection of Qatar as host for the 2022 World Cup and its complicity in allowing the preparation of the games in complete violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and International Conventions which Council of Europe members are bound by;

19. Denounces that corruption is still omnipresent in FIFA’s structures; calls on the EU Member States, particularly those with large national football leagues, such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain, to exert pressure on UEFA and FIFA for the latter to carry out fundamental reforms, including the introduction of democratic and transparent procedures for the awarding of football World Cups and the strict implementation of human rights and sustainability criteria for hosting countries; calls for violations of fundamental rights and human rights, especially evident systematic gender-based violence, to be binding exclusion criterion for the award of international sporting events in order to protect athletes and fans and to put an end to sportswashing; calls for the investigations into and prosecutions for the awarding of World Cups tainted with corruption to be continued; calls on EU Member States to authorise access to archived information on the award of the 2022 World Cup;

20. Urges FIFA to respect the right of football players to freely express their opinions and advocate for human dignity and human rights;

21. Denounces, more broadly, the increasing practice by authoritarian states of hosting large-scale sports or cultural events in order to boost their international legitimacy while further restricting domestic dissent; calls on the EU and Member States to engage with national sports federations, corporate actors and civil society organisations on the modalities for their participation in such events; calls for the development of an EU policy framework on sports and human rights;

22. Calls on VP/HR Josep Borrell and European External Action Service and EU Member State representatives to continue raising human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly migrant worker’s rights, women’s and LGBTQI rights in the EU-Qatar human rights dialogue and all other meetings with Qatari authorities;

23. 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, the government and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the State of Qatar, the governments and parliaments of the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), International Labour Organization and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

 

Last updated: 22 November 2022
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