A RESPONSE TO AMNESTY'S CRITICISM
The Government Communication Office released a statement to counter the claims made by Amnesty International which attacked the slow pace of labour reforms in the country.
On the eve of the anniversary of Qatar winning the bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, Amnesty issued a report that criticized how Qatar has done “almost nothing effective to end chronic labor exploitation”, and also implicated FIFA for being a passive bystander. In response, Qatar's Government Communication Office issued a statement arguing that the report “does not accurately reflect the progress we have made in reforming our labour system”. “The Government feels that Amnesty's reporting lacks context, as it does not benchmark labour conditions in Qatar against labour conditions in other countries facing similar challenges. Qatar fully intends to meet the highest standards with regard to labour but for reasons that are unclear, Amnesty International has provided no comparative data on labour conditions in other countries employing large numbers of guest workers to meet the demands of rapid growth and development,” the statement said. The office reiterated that significant reforms were being made for the migrant workforce, citing examples like the introduction of the Wage Protection System, which requires companies to pay employees' wages directly into bank accounts. The statement addressed local perceptions of the ineffectiveness of the new laws. “Far from ‘tinkering on the edges' of reform, Qatar has made, and will continue to make changes in our laws that will help ensure that the rights of both workers and their employers are respected,” it said.