12 November 2014
With the absence of labour rights in the Gulf under fire as a result of Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, Gulf states are likely to take heart from a recent study that asserts that authoritarian regimes in the oil-rich Middle East and China have contributed more to the eradication of global inequality than Western nations.
Human rights and trade union activists, targeting Qatar as well as the United Arab Emirates, have succeeded in persuading two major Qatari institutions – the Qatar Foundation, and the 2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy – to adopt significantly improved standards for the working and living conditions of foreign workers, who constitute a majority of the Gulf state’s population.
The activists’ campaign has also led the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to adopt adherence to human and labour rights as a condition in all of its future contracts with host cities. FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger moreover conceded earlier this year that human rights would have to figure in future awarding of the World Cup.
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Wuerzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccerblog.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 13/11/2014