MPs want Dutch King, PM to avoid 2022 World Cup in Qatar
A majority in parliament thinks that the Netherlands must not send a government delegation to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, because of reports of how workers building stadiums for the World Cup are exploited, ANP reports.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, supported a motion by SP parliamentarian Sadet Karabulut in which she called for the Netherlands to not be officially present at the 2022 World Cup. This includes the Royals avoiding the football tournament.
Karabulut referred to abuse, slavery, and other forms of exploitation workers face while building stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup in the Gulf State. Earlier this week, British newspaper The Guardian reported that 6,500 migrant workers from India Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar. According to the newspaper, that comes down to 12 workers dead per week since Qatar was awarded the World Cup in December 2010.
The newspaper believes the actual number of deaths to be even higher, as these figures don't include workers from the Philippines and Kenya, countries that send workers to Qatar in large numbers, but of whom The Guardian could not get figures. The newspaper also doesn't have complete figures for the last months of 2020.
The SP motion was supported by GroenLinks, PvdA, ChristenUnie, D66, SGP, 50Plus, and PVV.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs advised against the motion, saying that sports and politics should not be mixed. He also said that, after facing criticism, Qatar took steps to improve the situation of migrant workers in the country. The UN organization charged with labor (ILO) was also given access to the country, he said.
In December last year, human rights organization Amnesty International called on Dutch football association KNVB to at least speak out against the human rights violations happening in Qatar. "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.
Earlier this week, Gert-Jan Segers and Sigrid Kaag, the leaders of coalition parties ChristenUnie and D66, stated that the Netherlands should not participate in the 2022 World Cup. "The soil on which those stadiums are built is drenched in blood," Segers said to NOS. Kaag added that "a line" must be drawn.