UEFA working group finds Qatar is making human rights progress, but cautions still more to do

June 30 – A UEFA working group studying human rights conditions in Qatar has made its third visit to the World Cup hosts and acknowledged that significant progress has been made.

But the group highlighted a clear need for a better legal support for migrant workers and translation services for workers to help them fill out official forms, and access to information on their rights.

Since new labour laws were introduced in 2020, 242,000 workers were able to change jobs (compared to less than 18,000 the previous year), UEFA said. In addition, 280,000 workers received a wage increase to the minimum wage.

LGBTQI+ rights were discussed at length, and assurances were provided regarding fans being safely welcomed with rainbow flags.

The group questioned whether hotel staff had been informed of the need to accommodate all guests without discrimination and obtained assurances that this was the case.

The issue of compensation for workers who have been injured or lost their lives in construction projects related to the World Cup was also discussed at length. The Working Group agreed the principle that any injury or death in any workplace in any country should be compensated.

Most importantly perhaps, the discussions stressed the need for comprehensive efforts, both before and after the World Cup, to ensure that football continues to serve as a positive catalyst for change.

Michele Uva, chair of the UEFA Working Group, said: “We can look back on more than one year of activities, with seven Working Group meetings and three site visits to Qatar.

“We are thankful to the Supreme Committee and all institutions involved for the openness in our dialogue and search for solutions in view of incorporating human rights considerations as an essential pillar of sustainable football events.”

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