ITUC statement concerning Qatar allegations

ITUC General Secretary Luca Visentini was released on Sunday from questioning by the Belgian judicial authorities during last weekend over allegations of corruption in relation to members, and identities associated with, the European Parliament. At no time have the authorities suggested that the ITUC is under investigation or suspicion.

The ITUC recognises the seriousness of this issue, and remains committed to zero tolerance for any form of corruption. The ITUC General Council will have a special meeting next week on these matters.

Media reports have identified Qatar as being involved in the alleged corruption. The ITUC has worked intensively over more than 11 years to ensure reform of Qatar’s labour laws. The ITUC has welcomed the legal reforms that have been made in Qatar and has made it clear that continued pressure is required because current implementation and enforcement are insufficient.

The ITUC’s work on Qatar has, since the beginning, been entirely based on objective analysis and assessment of the facts, and any suggestion that any other entity, from Qatar or anywhere else, has influenced the ITUC’s position is entirely false. The ITUC’s ongoing commitment to reform in Qatar, and in other Gulf states, was reinforced at the 5th ITUC World Congress in Melbourne last month.

Luca Visentini said: “I am pleased that the questioning has concluded and I was able to fully answer all the questions. Should any further allegations be made, I look forward to the opportunity to refute them, as I am innocent of any wrongdoing. Any form of corruption is completely unacceptable and I am absolutely committed to the fight against corruption. I also wish to reconfirm the position that I have taken publicly that further pressure must be put on Qatar for workers’ and other human rights. The situation today is still not satisfactory, as I stated to the media at the end of my visit to Qatar.”