Moreover, unions are using the occasion of the talks to raise the violation of fundamental workers’ rights in Qatar. Migrant workers, who make up a 94% majority of the Qatari workforce, lack basic labour and human rights, are systematically exploited, often work in health threatening conditions, and may be expelled for forming a trade union. For example, Qatar has refused to ratify ILO Convention 87: Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948. Qatar is also the world’s largest per capita emitter and has been a barrier in climate negotiations.
As in all their external relations, the The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) demands that the EU and member states raise these concerns with the Qatari hosts and ensure that the importance of human rights (including workers’ rights), Just Transition and Decent Work are central in their dialogue with the COP 18 organising team.
The European Trade Union Confederation’s (ETUC) position on the talks is available here: http://www.etuc.org/a/10041