Dutch football must speak out against human rights violations in Qatar: Amnesty International
Dutch football association KNVB must be more vocal in speaking out against human rights violations happening in Qatar, Amnesty International said ahead of the draw for the qualifiers in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Human rights violations have been widespread since the county was awarded the event in 2010, the human rights organization said, NOS reports.
According to Amnesty International, 2 million migrant workers have been working in horrible conditions on the construction of World Cup stadiums and the infrastructure. They get paid little to nothing. An estimated 1 thousand migrant workers have already died during stadium construction, the organization said. That figure is just an estimate because Qatar will not release official figures.
"The pressure exerted in recent years brought about reforms. But that is mainly on paper. In practice, a lot of things still go wrong and people who work on the World Cup are still dying," Amnesty International spokesperson Emile Affolter said.
Gijs de Jong of the KNVB told Studio Voetbal that it is planning to be more vocal about the abuses. "We are in talks with a number of political parties to see what we can do. We are also talking to other football associations such as those of Sweden and Germany to work together and be able to mean something." He also pointed out that the KNVB launched a number of initiatives in Qatar over the past years to improve conditions there, including projects for women's football and constructing fields.
But according to Amnesty International, more is needed. "Football pitches, great fun. Projects for women's football, very important. But the bottom line is that ten years ago a World Cup was awarded, which caused human rights violations on a large scale. You cannot camouflage that with a few football pitches. All you must do is speak up an don't be afraid to make yourself heard," Affolter said to NOS. "I expect the KNVB and international football world to do that much more in the coming years. You now have to more years to put pressure on Qatar and the executive committee, to ensure that the situation gets better there."