Qatar’s labor minister said his country is rejecting calls for a special fund to compensate migrant workers who died or were injured on its lands while building mega-projects to host the World Cup.
In an interview with AFP, Minister Ali bin Smeikh Al-Marri condemned Doha’s “racist” attacks.
The minister said that Doha has had a migrant workers’ compensation fund for years through which it has been disbursing hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation and assistance.
With the FIFA World Cup approaching in Qatar on November 20, criticism of the human rights emirate is intensifying, especially regarding the rights of migrant workers.
Human rights organizations are calling on the Qatari authorities and FIFA to set up a $440 million fund to compensate these workers, but the Qatari minister ridiculed the idea as a mere “propaganda ploy”.
Al-Marri said that countries and organizations used “false information” and “rumors” to “discredit Qatar with intentionally misleading statements.”
He added that some foreign politicians used “double standards” and made Qatar “an arena for their political problems.”
The minister did not cite these politicians as an example, but last week Qatar summoned the German ambassador to Doha to protest statements by the German interior minister questioning the Gulf emirate’s right to host the World Cup.
In 2018, Qatar established the Workers Support and Insurance Fund to help migrant workers if their employers do not pay financial contributions.
The minister confirmed that the fund spent $320 million in 2022 alone.
“If there is a person who is entitled to compensation and has not received it, he must submit a request and we will help him,” he said, also indicating that Qatar is ready to consider cases whose facts date back more than a decade.
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