Qatar is in the spotlight following the claims of inhumane treatment that immigrant workers from other countries are forced to live. The lucrative job opportunities that immigrant workers sought to exploit to help their families back at has turned to be a menace to their survival and living in Qatar. According to Beydoun (2012), immigrant workers in Qatar lack passports to return to their countries, and are forced to live in poor conditions while earning a small salary that cannot support their daily living. One of the reasons why many immigrants sought for jobs in Qatar was preparations for hosting the 2022 world cup facilities. However, the inhumane treatment of laborers has caught the attention of FIFA officials and other sports organizations to help resolve the problem if the administration of Qatar does not respond to these problems. Therefore, current paper presents opinions to support the argument that if Qatar improves workers’ salary and working conditions then FIFA will not put pressure on them.
The construction of facilities to be used in the 2022 world cup presents a number of job opportunities that many nationalities from different countries saw as a chance of making a fortune. From stadiums, infrastructures, restaurant and lodging facilities, and recreational facilities, Qatar had the opportunity of making a better name in the world forum. However, the workforce in the country could not achieve all these developments and, thus, had to import more laborers from other countries. According to Nolan and Farbenblum (2014), these job opportunities were a way many laborers from other countries could make a difference in their daily wages considering the exchange rates of currencies. However, these working opportunities have turned out to be against every expectation of any immigrant worker. They live in poor environments, forced to share accommodations, which are still not fit for human habitation, are paid poorly, and some have not been paid for a long time (Nolan & Farbenblum, 2014). Laborers have been living in poor housing facilities with poor sanitation and hygiene conditions reports Pattisson (2013).
FIFA officials feel responsible for the conditions that might not change in the near future. In response, they have sought to identify reforms that could be instituted and implemented to ensure that workers are able to live in standard requirements and earn an average salary. Officials seek to change the conditions of immigrant employees in Qatar who on entrance into the country were denied the opportunity of returning to their countries (Brannagan & Grix, 2014). These conditions have also been an issue among human rights organizations in different parts of the world considering the labor and living conditions that employees are forced to live in Qatar. According to the Qatar laws, migrant workers who constitute a high percentage of the population need many rights, which human rights watch, has been on the forefront to address. Employees are forced to live with a labor system that facilitates trafficking and supports forced labor. Therefore, employees need a forum to address their issues to the government or labor organizations. In signing the contracts to work in the country, laborers are to pay high fees for their recruitment and, at the same time, their passports are withheld.
These conditions for laborers have been escalated following the selection of Qatar as the hosts of the 2022 world cup (Beydoun, 2012). Since the country was unable to host the world cup in terms of resources to offer and facilities for nationalities to visit the country, it had to import additional laborers to help achieve the promises that the country had promised for the hosting of the world cup. According to Pattisson (2013), the shortage in the infrastructure and other necessary facilities for the high number of individuals who will be visiting Qatar for the world cup is to blame for the increase in inhumane working conditions. However, the most shocking incidences are the number of deaths that have been reported in the country following workers who are forced to work in harsh climatic conditions during the day when temperatures can exceed 45 degrees. With no water, shelter, and access to health care facilities, a number of Lebanese workers have lost their lives. According to Brannagan and Grix (2014), it is estimated that in 2013, the rate of laborers who lost their lives was one laborer per day.
FIFA seeks to change these conditions for laborers that are in Qatar to help promote the agenda of the world cup. Since the world cup seeks to bring together nationalities for entertainment, it goes contrary to the achievement of these objectives if labor and conditions for establishing them were of the inhumane nature. Employers are urged to provide laborers with a better living standard, normal working conditions, and a standard pay (Beydoun, 2012). With the adoption of the recommendations that FIFA seeks to provide Qatar and immigrant workers, the state will not be pressurized from FIFA about the changes. However, the changes that FIFA together with other human rights organizations addresses is to help change the labor conditions of the laborers in the country. FIFA seeks to provide a solution to the problems that will not only destroy the reputation of Qatar but also the support of FIFA as a sporting organization.
The Qatar government is, therefore, under the pressure from FIFA for a global labor and employment laws reform of laborers working environments. Initiatives have been instituted to help change these conditions with support from FIFA and labor organizations and human rights commissions. The Qatar government faces pressure to reform the labor laws of immigrant employees in the country. However, FIFA presents a number of options that they could pursue to resolve the problem in Qatar if the state fails to make changes at the working and living environments of the immigrant workers in Qatar.
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