Dutch football assoc. going to Qatar to discuss human rights
The KNVB will travel to Qatar again in December to discuss the situation of migrant workers there. Like in August, talks are planned with human rights organizations such as the International Labor Organization (ILO), the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), and the Qatari authorities.
"Up to now, we have been able to determine that improvements have been made for the labor migrants," said Secretary-General Gijs de Jong of the Dutch football association. "New laws have been introduced that are unique to the region. For example, during the hottest hours of the day, it is forbidden to work in the sun, and it is prohibited for employers to confiscate passports. Also, employees no longer need their employer's permission to travel, and workers can leave the country without the employer's permission. A minimum wage has also been introduced. We dare to say that these changes would not have happened without the World Cup. We are not there yet, because the challenge is that all new laws have to be complied with now, but also in the future, also after the World Cup. So there is still a lot of work to be done."
The Dutch national team hopes to qualify against Norway on Saturday in Montenegro or on Tuesday for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of next year. For three years now, the KNVB has been trying to use the attention for the World Cup to achieve the desired changes in the situation of migrant workers in the country. The next KNVB visit to Qatar is on 9 and 10 December, after an earlier visit in August when De Jong also spoke with human rights organizations and migrant workers.
The KNVB also wants to continue to draw attention to the situation of women and the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar. "The KNVB uses football at a local level to stimulate women's emancipation in Qatar," said De Jong. "That is happening with WorldCoaches, our program that educates men and women worldwide to act as trainers and social role models in their own environment. In Qatar, WorldCoaches focuses on women's football. And with our OneLove campaign, we emphasize at home and abroad that everyone is welcome in football, regardless of color, origin, religion, gender, and sexual preference. We will, of course, continue to propagate this. So apart from the sporting part, we are also busy with the World Cup in other areas."