Qatar rejects AI report

DOHA: Qatar’s government has rejected a report by Amnesty International (AI) which said abuse of migrant labourers in the Gulf Arab state remains ‘rampant’ five years after it won the right to host the World Cup. A statement by Qatar’s Government Communications Office sent to journalists late on Tuesday said that the Amnesty report ‘does not accurately reflect the progress’ Qatar has made in reforming its labour system. “We feel that the accusation that Qatar has failed to improve the human rights of its guest workers is simply untrue. Significant reforms have been made and more are in the pipeline.” Qatar, one of the wealthiest countries in the world which is preparing to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, has been widely criticised for its treatment of migrant workers, especially in the construction industry. Amnesty’s report on Tuesday said that under Qatar’s ‘kafala’, or work-sponsorship system, foreign workers are still required to seek their employer’s consent to change jobs or leave the country, putting them at the mercy of their employers.