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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

No workers have died on World Cup projects, says Qatar

Tue, May 13 12:13 PM EDT By Mike Collett SWEIMEH Jordan (Reuters) - No construction workers have been killed working on a 2022 World Cup project site, Nasser Al Khater, the media and marketing director of the Qatar organizing committee, said on Tuesday. Reports of the deaths of immigrant workers in the Gulf State have made global headlines for the last year since a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper, but Al Khater, delivering an update on progress for the finals in eight years' time, sought to put the figures into perspective. Speaking to delegates at the Soccerex Asian Forum by the banks of the Dead Sea, Al Khater addressed the issues of workers rights under the kafala (tied employment) system used in the country. "Contrary to what the international media says there has not been a single injury or death on the World Cup projects," he said. "It's not possible to have 400 deaths when you are still digging a hole in the ground so I would like to make sure this matter is put to rest. "However, we have taken the issue of workers welfare very seriously and made sure that the highest standards in terms of workers welfare are stated in all our contracts. "We have always said the World Cup is a catalyst for change and we welcome the spotlight this issue has brought." Hundreds of construction workers have died in Qatar on non-World Cup projects, but moves are underway to implement major safety changes throughout the country's construction industry. Al Khater said that only one World Cup stadium was currently under construction and that five would get under way by the end of this year. He said that "important announcements" would soon be made on the issue of workers' welfare, adding that no firm decisions had yet been made over cutting the number of World Cup stadiums from 12 to eight. He said this decision would be taken next year and hinted that due to the size of the country, only eight might be used and not 12. FIFA's rules are that eight is the minimum number for a World Cup. "There has been a lot of speculation that Qatar has minimized the number of stadiums and some have said it's because of budget cuts," Al Khater said. "That’s not true. "Given the size of the country, while we propose 12 stadiums, eight are in final preparation. Of those eight, five will be in different phases of construction by end of this year, with the remaining three announced after 2014. "Then, in 2015 we will decide alongside FIFA how many stadia Qatar really needs. "We will make sure that the World Cup will represent the Middle East - and that when we welcome the fans they get a taste of the culture and understand that the Middle East is not what is being perceived right now." ===================================== HOMENEWS QatarMiddle EastInternationalIndiaPakistan/AfghanistanPhilippinesAsiaBUSINESS QatarGCCMiddle EastInternationalStock MarketLIFESTYLE TechfileMotoringFoodcourtFeature, Movies & BooksCultureHealth & WellnessSPORTS QatarFootballFormula OneMotoGPGolfTennisNBANHLNFLAthleticsRugbyVIEWS EditorialEditor-in-chief ColumnsPolitical ViewsBusiness ViewsLetters to the editorSPECIAL PAGES IslamLawRamadan ThoughtsCARTOONS PoliticsBusinessPLUS CoverCommunityCampusFeatureBusinessMarketARCHIVE Quick Links Qatar Middle East International India Pakistan / Afghanistan Philippines Asia Sponsorship rules being reviewed May 08, 2014 - 3:46:18 am The Assistant Foreign Minister for International Cooperation H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdurrahman bin Jassim Al Thani heading Qatar’s delegation to the Universal Periodical Review meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva yesterday. DOHA: Qatar is conducting a comprehensive review of rules concerning sponsorship, exit and residency permits for foreign workers. The idea is to match international best practices in human rights protection. This was revealed by Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister for International Cooperation at a key human rights meeting in Geneva yesterday. H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani told the meeting that Qatar was also studying means to organise the working hours and rights of domestic workers. He said an extensive review of the labour law and procedures and policies with regard to labour rights protection was being carried out in accordance with international standards. The Assistant Minister, as head of the Qatari delegation to the UN Human Rights meeting, said different laws concerning human rights were also being improved. He said an international consultancy had been mandated to review all laws and procedures that relate to foreign workers and compare them with the best practices worldwide and make suggestions for improvement. The idea is to improve these laws and systems and in effect improve the lives and working environment of expatriate workers in the country. The consultancy, according to the Assistant Minister, submitted its report on April 30 this year. Copies of the report have been forwarded to agencies concerned in the country so that they review the report as per their area of specialisation. All these agencies will be coordinating their efforts and coming up with an integrated approach so that recommendations can be implemented. “An announcement will be made very soon regarding that report,” the Assistant Minister told the Geneva meeting. He said Qatar deals positively and openly with all comments and suggestions given to it regarding hosting the 2022 World Cup. Qatar hosting this big event would be a great incentive for the Qatari government to fulfil all requirements contributing to the success of the event, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported yesterday. Meanwhile, in a report submitted to the Geneva meeting (Universal Periodical Review of the UN Human Rights Commission where human rights situation of member countries is discussed), Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) called for a suitable alternative to the sponsorship law. An alternative is needed to the sponsorship system to protect the rights of both foreign workers and their employers, said the rights body. It also called for raising the wages of labourers and improving labour camps. The Peninsula ============================================= Sign in with d F T G Sign up for Disqus or pick a name ?Disqus is a conversation networkDisqus never moderates or censors. The rules on this community are its own.Your email is safe with us. It's only used for moderation and optional notifications.Don't be a jerk or do anything illegal. Everything is easier that way.Read full terms and conditions I'd rather post as guest →→ Be the first to comment. − + ⚑Ahmed • 6 days agoQATAR IS UNDER THE ABLE LEADERSHIP OF DYNAMIC MINISTERS AND IT WILL SHOW COUNTRYS PROGRESS AND PROSPEROUS IN FUTURE. THE REAL PROBLEM IS NOT THE SPONSORS.THE MEDIATORS BETWEEN ORIGINAL QATAR CITIZENS ,MANGERS/PARTNERS/DIRECTORS WHO HAVE DIRECT BENEFIT FROM BUSINESS PROFIT.THESE MANAGERS MISLEAD/HIDE THE VIOLATIONS OF LAW AGAINST WORKERS,FROM SPONSORS. THESE MEDIATORS/MANAGERS MAKE MAXIMUM BENEFITS AFTER MISUSING THE GOOD WILL OF QATARI CITIZENS AND BLUFFING THEM. IT IS A COCCUS INVOLVING MANAGERS/DIRECTORS/ACCOUNTANTS WHO ARE IN THE ADMIN PANEL.THEY WILL NEVER EVER ALLOW ANY OTHER STAFF TO BE IN TOUCH WITH ORIGINAL QATARI CITIZEN. THESE PARTNERS ARE AFRAID OF ,SPECIALLY THE ACCOUNTANT,CONVEYING THE FRAUD ACTIVITIES HAPPENING IN THE GROUP TO SPONSOR. THESE SO CALLED MANGERS/POWER OF ATTORNEYS/DIRECTORS USED TO TRANSFER FUNDS IN MILLIONS ACCOUNTED AS EXPENSES. TRULY SPEAKING THESE PARTNERS/MANAGERS WHO HAVE SIGNING AUTHORITY MUST BE UNDER THE EXIT PERMIT LAW SINCE MORE POSSIBILITIES TO CHEAT THE CITIZENS. EVEN THERE WERE SITUATIONS WHERE THESE MANAGERS SHOUTED ARROGANTLY THAT THEY ARE ABOVE LAW AND WHATEVER THEY WISH BE WORKED OUT. EVEN IF SALARY DELAYED,CUTS IN SALARY NO EMPLOYEES WERE DARE TO CLARIFY WITH HR.IF SO,THEIR NAME WOULD BE NOTED AND FURTHER ANY HELP FROM MANAGEMENT USED TO BE DENIED TO SUCH WORKERS. ONE FAMOUS HEALTHCARE GROUP POLICY IS AS BELOW- IF ANYONE NEED ONE DAY LEAVE ,THEY ARE FORCED TO TAKE LEAVE FOR ONE WEEK CONTINUOUSLY.SATURDAY ONLY WORKERS ARE ALLOWED TO JOIN.FRIDAY ONLY THEY ARE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL. THE LEAST BASIC SALARY IS FIXED FOR WORKERS.DOCTORS ARE WORKING LIKE LABORS WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF HUMAN BEINGS HEALTH ARE WORKING UNDER STRESS.HEARD CURSING THE MANAGEMENT THESE NEW CHANGES,IF HAPPENS,WILL GIVE A HOPE TO THE WORKERS AND DEFINITELY EXPATRIATE WORKERS WILL WORK HARD WITH QATAR TO MAKE FIFA 2022 A MARVELOUS EXPERIENCE. FOR MANY EXPATRIATE QATAR GAVE PROSPERITY. JUST BECAUSE OF SOME FRAUD MANGERS/DIRECTORS,QATAR SHOULD NOT GET A BAD NAME. ENFORCEMENT OF THESE CHANGES WILL GIVE SUCH PEOPLE TO RESPECT THE LAW OF QATAR. see more 4 △▽You must sign in to down-vote this post. • Ahmed • 6 days agoYES BROTHER YOUR POINT IS VERY CLEAR AND ALL TRUE.I CAN CONFIDENTLY SAY THAT THOSE SO CALLED 'MANAGERS'MAJORITY OF THEM ARE KERELAS WHO MAKE SURE THAT THE COMPLAINTS OF THE WORKERS DONT REACH THERE SENIOR[qataris].THE KNOW VERY WELL THAT EVEN THE POSITION OF BEEN A 'MANAGER'HE OR SHE IS NOT QUALIFIED TO HOLD SO ANY COMPLAINTS ARE DANGEROUS ACCORDING TO THEM. see more 5 △▽You must sign in to down-vote this post. • RASHID • 6 days ago"KERELAS" all of them! specially DKB! =================== The rich of the Gulf Author: Khalid Al Jaber May 08, 2014 - 4:39:58 am What is the image of the wealthy elite of the Gulf internationally? What positive role do they play in bringing change to their communities and in the development of their countries? The fact is that their image is poor in the Arab as well as Western media, going by some reports about them. The World Wealth Report 2014 says that people in the Gulf countries are the most prosperous in the world, but some of the well-to-do individuals in these countries spend their money extravagantly on luxury items. The report contained stories about some well-heeled individuals in the Gulf and said that some of them pay huge amounts of money just to have dinner with a Hollywood star or other celebrities. This is nothing new, and was happening in the past as well, with one rich man paying millions of dollars in the 1980s to invite some Hollywood stars. There is another story, about another wealthy man from the Gulf, who spent £6m buying gifts at Harrods, one of the preferred stores for Arabs and other rich foreigners. The report also mentioned how one rich man bought a goat of an uncommon species for 13 million riyals. Another affluent man bought a bathtub made of a rare kind of stone for $6m. A third man bought a garment that belonged to a famous tennis player for $30,000. The last story in the report is about a wealthy Arab who paid $50,000 for an iPad glossed with gold and adorned with precious stones and platinum. On the other hand, there was news about Bill Gates visiting some GCC countries. Gates was for several years the richest man in the world. During his visit, Gates renewed his call for the rich to devote half of their wealth to philanthropy. He lauded business magnate Warren Buffet, 79, for supporting charity works and giving half of his wealth, which is estimated at $47bn, to charity. Gates’ message, however, does not seem to have reached the ears of the wealthy in the Gulf. Perhaps these people have not made enough effort to earn their riches, unlike their Western peers, thanks to the oil revenues that are controlled and distributed by the Gulf states.

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