Visiting Qatar, Minister Sajjan does not talk about human rights
< p class="styled__StyledLegend-sc-v64krj-0 cfqhYM">Canadian International Development Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan (r) next to Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib (l) who wears a “One Love” armband from the stand during a FIFA World Cup match between Belgium and Canada, in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23.
International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan is facing criticism from the opposition for failing to make a public statement on human rights during his visit to Qatar for the Soccer World Cup.
If we don't raise the issue of human rights when we are in countries where we know human rights abuses are taking place, we have no moral authority, said NDP spokesperson in foreign affairs, Heather McPherson.
Mr. Sajjan attended the World Cup on behalf of the Trudeau government, as the Canadian men's team is competing there for the first time in years. He met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and local officials.
Yet Mr Sajjan's social media posts make no mention of the host country's mistreatment of migrant workers – which are documented – or the emirate's anti-LGBTQ policies. p>
These concerns have led some broadcasters and players to sport armbands emblazoned with One Love. The German team meanwhile covered their mouths when their official photo was taken.
Mr Sajjan's office replied that he was unavailable Thursday for comment as he returned to Canada.
Labour Secretary Seamus O'Regan, who is gay, said he felt split on the issue.
“I'll be honest, it's very divisive. I cheer on my team, I cheer on my country and [I only want] the best. But I will tell you that it is a bit difficult.
—Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Labour
Mr. O'Regan added that he could not speak for Mr. Sajjan, but noted that the government had raised concerns about Qatar before the event began. /p>
We know exactly where we stand; we made our displeasure clear, he said.
The NDP had called for a diplomatic boycott of the soccer World Cup.
This government has once again shown that it really does not care about human rights, Ms. McPherson added.
On Monday, MPs passed a unanimous motion condemning the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) for threatening to sanction players who wore 'One Love' armbands. The motion argued that international sports institutions have a moral obligation to support players and fans in advancing the fight for equality and against homophobia, transphobia and all forms of discrimination in sport.
The captains of several European teams have abandoned plans to wear a “One Love” armband after soccer's governing body FIFA warned #x27;they would face penalties on the pitch.
Qatar media also said some fans wearing rainbow outfits were denied ;entrance to stadiums.
This month, Amnesty International chastised Soccer Canada for its deafening silence on the thousands of workers, mostly from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, who have been victimized. abuse of work, extremely low wages and other forms of exploitation.
Soccer Canada released a statement last month in support of reforms ongoing, but avoided criticizing the emirate.
Amnesty noted that peer federations in Britain, the United States, France and the Netherlands have all endorsed calls for the creation of a compensation fund for migrant workers who have been mistreated during Qatar's preparation for the World Cup.
The Tories did not comment directly on Mr. Sajjan's actions. Instead, MP Michael Chong said his party preferred the World Cup to be hosted by countries with better reputations, citing a bid by Ukraine to co-host the 2030 tournament with Ukraine. Spain and Portugal.
Conservatives condemn in the strongest terms all violations of human rights around the world and stand ready to work with our democratic allies to support human rights, Mr. Chong wrote in a statement.
The Bloc Québécois had also called for a diplomatic boycott and deplored Mr. Sajjan's presence in Qatar .
“Canada has no excuse to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses.
— Martin Champoux, Bloc Québécois MP on Twitter
During the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the Liberals urged the Harper government to raise the issue of human rights. the person in China.