|Qatar assigns law firm to review World Cup ‘slave’ labor claims
Qatar has named a global law firm to probe media claims that migrant laborers working on massive infrastructure projects for the 2022 football World Cup are being exploited.
The Gulf emirate's labor ministry named DLA Piper “to independently review all the claims made, and to report on their veracity to the ministry,'' Ali al-Kholeifi, the ministry's international affairs adviser, said late Wednesday, AFP reports.
The ministry will “take all necessary measures to respond to these allegations once the report is ready,’’ the QNA state news agency quoted him as saying.
“The government of Qatar takes its international commitments seriously, especially following recent allegations of violations’’ of the international convention on forced labor, Kholeifi said.
Qatar has denied claims in a report in Britain's Guardian daily that Nepalese construction workers at World Cup projects are being treated like “slaves.’’
“There is no slavery or forced labor in Qatar,'' said Ali al-Marri, chairman of the country's National Human Rights Committee.
Last week's Guardian report said dozens of Nepalese have died working in Qatar in recent weeks, raising concerns about preparations to host the World Cup.
Quoting documents obtained by Kathmandu's embassy in Doha, the newspaper said thousands of Nepalese – at 370,000 the second largest group of laborers in Qatar after Indians – faced exploitation and abuses amounting to “modern-day slavery.’’
Qatar has come under pressure to ensure the safety of migrant workers employed on the massive infrastructure projects needed for the tournament.