The head of a British parliamentary delegation on a fact-finding visit to Qatar said yesterday the World Cup 2022 hosts had made “progress” on the issue of workers’ welfare.
Conservative Phillip Lee, co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group for Qatar, said Doha has listened to its critics over its treatment of migrant workers.
“From what I have seen, there has been progress in workers’ welfare on the construction sites,” he told AFP. “I think they have responded to criticism.
“I think the criticism of Qatar is more accurately a criticism of FIFA and Qatar has been wrapped up in that.”
Lee was a member of a cross-party group which met government ministers, World Cup officials and made site visits to workers’ accommodation and one of the tournament’s prospective venues.
He said the British parliamentarians had been granted “freedom of access” to talk to whoever they wished.
Lee said there had been particular improvement over the awarding of contracts and urged Qatar to emphasise the “human” difference it is making to its vast army of foreign workers.
“People (working) here for two years can make a significant difference to their lives,” he said.
Qatar has introduced a series of measures to improve the workers’ welfare. Long-awaited changes to Qatar’s “kafala” labour law for foreign workers will come into force in December this year.