Amnesty report highlights Qatar’s unpaid migrant workers, but World Cup sites ‘clean’

September 19 – New research conducted by Amnesty International suggests migrant workers in Qatar continue to be mistreated despite promises to improve their rights ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Maintaining the pressure on the Qatari authorities, a fresh 52-page report claims thousands are still going unpaid and has urged Qatari authorities to “end the shameful reality of labour exploitation”.

The 52-page report – All work, no pay: The struggle of Qatar’s migrant workers for justice –  alleges several hundred workers employed by three construction and cleaning companies were forced to return home penniless.

“Despite the significant promises of reform which Qatar has made ahead of the 2022 World Cup, it remains a playground for unscrupulous employers,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International’s deputy director of global issues.

“Migrant workers often go to Qatar in the hope of giving their families a better life – instead many people return home penniless after spending months chasing their wages, with too little help from the systems that are supposed to protect them.”

“Migrant workers in Qatar too often face an impossible choice between long and often fruitless efforts to seek justice, or returning to their families without the money needed to support them.

“We are urging the Qatari authorities to fully deliver what has been promised and end the shameful reality of labour exploitation.

“If Qatar is serious about meeting its promises to improve workers’ rights, it must provide more judges to ensure cases are heard rapidly, fully finance the compensation fund, and ensure companies that break the rules face justice.”

In response to the report, FIFA was quoted as saying that World Cup sites were not specifically mentioned and that the contractors cited “have never been engaged on World Cup projects in Qatar.”

“We know that the Qatari authorities are working intensely in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation and other stakeholders with a view to further improve the effectiveness of this complex but vital mechanism,” said FIFA.

“FIFA continues to engage with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and other parties towards ensuring respect for the rights of workers who are involved in FIFA World Cup-related activities.”

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