Perfect timing. Just days after the IOC Executive Board adopted a “strategic framework” on human rights, Qatar is holding its first forum on the issue at the beginning of this week. Organised by the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), it is dedicated to “the role of law enforcement institutions in protecting human rights during the 2022 World Cup”. According to the NHRC Chairperson, Maryam bint Abdullah Al Attiyah, the two-day forum (12-13 September) is “an opportunity to work towards establishing and promoting environmental protection and human rights”. The NHRC also assured, in reference to the rights of foreign spectators at the World Cup (20 November to 18 December 2022), that “everyone is welcome in respect of our culture“. At the opening of the debates on Monday 12 September, Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidli, representative of the Qatari Ministry of Labour, insisted on the will of the Gulf state to undertake “major reforms” of the labour market by dismantling in large part the “kafala”, the system of sponsorship of employees by their employers, which is the source of frequent abuses.
— Published 13 September 2022