The Dutch government preferred to postpone a trade mission to Qatar due to concern over the living conditions of migrant workers. Those people helping the Persian Gulf nation to prepare for the 2022 soccer World Cup, Reuters said.
The calculations made by The Guardian showed that Qatar is not the best place for migrant workers. According to the British newspaper, at least 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar in the past 10 years. All of them were helping to prepare all the infrastructure for the next World Cup.
Dutch foreign ministry spokesman Jeroen van Dommelen said that this report has led to a broad discussion in Dutch society and in parliament.
“We have talked before with Qatar about the poor conditions for these workers, but these numbers give the discussion a new meaning. We want to hear Qatar’s response before we can think of a new date for the mission,” van Dommelen added.
The trade mission, which was to be held as a video conference due to coronavirus related travel restrictions, was scheduled for March 22 to April 1.
Qatar gave no comments yet.
Dutch MPs urged the king and government to stay away from the 2022 World Cup
The worrying situation in Qatar made a majority of parties in the Dutch parliament to urge the Cabinet and monarch to stay away from the next year’s World Cup. Such protest against the treatment of migrant workers should be heard by the Qatari authorities.
In its efforts to improve the working conditions, Qatar announced changes to its labour laws last August. The government raised the minimum wage by 25% to about USD275 a month and scrapping a requirement for workers to obtain permission from their employers to change jobs.
Sigrid Kaag, Dutch trade minister stressed she wanted the Netherlands to boycott the World Cup, though foreign minister Stef Blok said he preferred to keep an open dialogue with Qatar.