Vinci to sue over allegations it used ‘forced labour’ in Qatar

French company Vinci is to sue human rights group Sherpa over allegations that it used forced labour in Qatar. 

Vinci said the comments made by Sherpa about QDVC, a Qatari joint venture 49% owned by Vinci, were "slanderous" and "constitute a serious attack on Vinci’s image". 

QDVC employs 3,500 people in Qatar. Vinci said it had repeatedly welcomed unions, international NGOs and journalists onto its sites. 

Vinci also invited Sherpa’s representatives and journalists to inspect working and living conditions first hand. 

Vinci said: "QDVC employees are free to retrieve their passports at any time, and we strictly observe working hours and rest time. 

"Seventy per cent of our workers decide to return to QDVC and sign new two-year contracts when their previous contracts expire." 

Vinci added that it had built housing facilities at the beginning of 2015 to provide better living conditions for its workers. 

Fifty-one per cent of QDVC belongs to state-owned Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company. It has not yet issued a statement. 

In November last year, Amnesty International said Qatar’s response to worker abuse was "woefully insufficient". 

Sherpa is a Paris-based not-for-profit legal organisation that focuses on economic crimes and human rights violations. 

Image: Vinci workers in Qatar (Sherpa)

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