This is how experts assess the situation in the Gulf state

Wow can politicians and the public demand and promote the consideration of human rights in Qatar beyond the duration of the soccer World Cup in December? The small emirate is now also increasing its importance as a supplier of liquid gas. Even as a mediator to the Taliban, Germany needs the Gulf state to enable former local staff and their families to leave Afghanistan.

Amnesty’s expert for the Middle East and North Africa, Katja Müller-Fahlbusch, demanded on Monday at a hearing of the Sports Committee of the German Bundestag on the World Cup in Qatar that human rights should not fall behind as a result of this dramatic shift in power.

identity formation and patriotism

Development and sports policy recommended Sebastian Sons from the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient and did not predict democratization, but rather liberalization and recommended that human rights commitments not only be focused on Qatar, but also on Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Emirates to look at.

Qatar is pursuing a policy of identity building and patriotism in sport, for example with its commitment to the Paris St. Germain football club. In addition, try to establish a healthy lifestyle with sport. Women were given more rights and greater participation in sport. For the third time since May, political Berlin dealt with the topic on Monday.

“Extremely questionable event”

First, the human rights committee debated sport without sports politicians, then the Federal Ministry of the Interior invited to a conference on sport and human rights, and now finally the sports committee.

Thomas Beschorner, Director of the Institute for Business Ethics at the University of St. Gallen, thought it was too late. “We are at most in a ‘repair mode’ for a geopolitically motivated event that is extremely questionable in terms of human rights,” he judged: “This also applies to people who are now alive – or unfortunately deceased – as well as future generations, keyword: climate change.” to review the legal status of the world soccer governing body FIFA as a non-profit organization in Switzerland.

Heike Ullrich, general secretary of the German Football Association, announced that the DFB would advocate compensation for the bereaved of workers who died in accidents on World Cup construction sites. DFB President Bernd Neuendorf wants to travel to Qatar before the World Cup, probably in November, together with Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser. Amnesty is calling for compensation for all victims of World Cup-related human rights violations since the 2010 World Cup was awarded.

Amnesty criticizes inaction

Amnesty expert Katja Müller-Fahlbusch confirms progress and reform, but also delays and shortcomings in the host country of the World Cup. The reality of life has not changed. She does not share the assessment that the kafala system has been dissolved, she said.

Reforms have been initiated that could have a transformative character – if they were implemented. However, Amnesty noted a slowdown in reform progress in 2021. Government inaction has reversed progress. Resistance is forming within the Qatari economy.

The organizing committee of the World Cup in Qatar did not accept the committee’s invitation to the hearing. MPs made it public.

Luise Amtsberg, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, took the view that sporting events could offer political opportunities. But there is also the danger that regimes use them to legitimize the violation of human rights. It is the task of the federal government to exert further influence.

Qatar is a beacon for the Gulf region, said Dietmar Schäfers, vice-president of the Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI). During international work inspections on WM construction sites, for example by experts from the German building trade association, it was found that the highest standard prevailed there.

Qatar is now speaking to the union and is sticking to agreements. “It’s different in the neighboring countries.” Schäfers doesn’t see the coming of the center for foreign workers demanded by many. Qatar sees this as a precursor to a union and therefore rejects it.



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