says court rules in its favor over Qatar working conditions
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[January 06, 2017]
ZURICH (Reuters) - A court has
rejected a lawsuit against FIFA brought by labor unions which said
it had failed to use its influence to ensure fair treatment for
people working on 2022 World Cup facilities in Qatar, the world
soccer body said on Friday.
FIFA said in a statement it welcomed the decision by the Commercial
Court of Zurich in the case which concerned its "alleged wrongful
conduct and liability for human rights violations."
The court could not immediately be reached for comment and FIFA did
not give further details on the case itself.
The suit was filed by Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress, backed
by the Dutch union FNV, on behalf of a Bangladeshi man who says he
was exploited in Qatar.
It called on FIFA to force Qatar to adopt "minimum labor standards"
for migrant workers preparing for the tournament, including at least
the right to quit a job or leave the country.
The Gulf state has faced criticism of its treatment of foreign
workers from Amnesty International, the Building and Wood Workers'
International organization and others.
Doha has previously denied exploiting workers and says it is
implementing labor reforms.
Under Qatar's "kafala" system, foreign workers must get their
employer's consent to change jobs or leave the country.
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The FIFA logo is seen outside their headquarters in Zurich October
7, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Qatar government passed a new law last month and said the reforms
would make it easier for migrant workers to change jobs and leave
the country, but human rights organizations said the changes would
not end abuse or exploitation.
FIFA said it took labor conditions in Qatar "very seriously."
"FIFA monitors the situation very closely and ... will continue to
urge the Qatari authorities to ensure safe and decent working
conditions for construction workers," it said.
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin and Michael Shields; writing by Brian
Homewood; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
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