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RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh raises concern about ‘slave labor like conditions’ for FIFA World Cup preparations in Qatar at the Geneva labor conference

BMS said that it was deeply concerned with gross human rights violations of migrant workers, especially that of Indians, which is ongoing in Qatar.

On Tuesday, the RSS affiliate labor organization, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), raised serious concerns over the human rights violations of the Indian migrant workers in Qatar. Releasing the statement on June 14, it said that it was deeply concerned with gross human rights violation of migrant workers, especially that of Indians, which is ongoing in Qatar.

“The Kafala system has caused severe trauma for workers from India as well as other South Asian countries in Qatar. Seizure of passports, overtime work, denial of permission to even leave the place of stay for a while, small accommodations, sexual abuse, forced work outside the field of expertise, have been sources of great mental agony for workers”, BMS said in the statement.

Statement by Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (Image source- Twitter)

The Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh stated that since Qatar won the bid in 2010 to host the upcoming edition of FIFA World cup, several human rights watchdogs have reported slave-like conditions of migrant workers in the country. “1,611 Indian migrants have died in the country since 2014. The families back home had to wait for a cruel amount of time to get the mortal remains of their loved ones”, the statement added.

BMS has also lodged a protest with the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to India, the Indian Labour Ministry, and the External Affairs Ministry to draw attention to severe issues related to the migrant workers in Qatar. It demanded that all Indian workers be accorded with good and healthy working conditions and that their human rights are respected.

Further, in the case of a worker’s death, the organisation demanded that the mortal remains of the deceased are sent back to India immediately and the cost of the same be borne by the Qatar government or the manpower supply agency with suitable compensations to be provided to the aggrieved family. It also demanded that manpower supplying agencies should be dealt with strictly in case of any violations. “If the Qatar government doesn’t take positive action on these fronts, BMS will be forced to raise this issue at both national and international forums at earliest”, the statement read.

BMS raised these issues with the government authorities and trade union of Qatar at the 110th session of the International Labour Conference, Geneva that was held between May 27 and June 11 this year.

To note, the kafala system is a system used to monitor migrant laborers who are dependent on the ‘Kafeel’ (sponsor, employer) for their livelihood and stay of living under the Kafala system. It is a contemporary form of slavery due to the control of Kafeel over the migrant worker. This system is primarily practiced in West Asia.

Earlier, on May 20, Amnesty International and other rights groups had called on FIFA to set aside $440 million to compensate migrant workers in Qatar for human rights abuses amid the 2022 FIFA World Cup preparations. In a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the groups said that world soccer’s governing body should also work with the host nation to protect the rights of migrant workers in the future.

However, the Qatar government, denying the accusations said that it had already introduced various reforms in the last five years, including a new national minimum wage and the removal of exit permits. The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup competition. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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