August 1 – Human rights group Equidem has found labour rights abuses at the team hotels that will host England and Brazil during the World Cup in Qatar.
Equidem and their investigators interviewed 69 members of staff at 29 FIFA-approved hotels and wrote in a reported: “Our investigations documented significant labour and human rights violations perpetrated against migrant workers, including nationality-based discrimination, wage theft, health and safety risks, and sudden loss of employment along with surveillance and retaliation against migrant workers who brought forward information on violations.”
“These findings raise serious concerns about the risk of violations of international labour standards and international human rights norms at Qatar World Cup hotels before, during and after the 2022 tournament.”
At the Westin Hotel in the city centre, where the Brazilian team will stay during the World Cup, Equidem found nationality-based wage discrimination, higher wages promised upon hiring and the practice of recruitment fees. A Marriott spokesperson for the Westin Doha Hotel said the group had made strenuous efforts to improve conditions.
The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) said: “The options for hotels and training centres at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are pre-established and approved by the competition’s organisation. The CBF chose the accommodation and training centre based on this list.”
At the Souk Al-Wakra Hotel, England’s base camp during the World Cup, nationality-based wage discrimination, challenges obtaining NOCs for contract workers, recruitment fees charged to contract workers, illegal wage deductions below minimum wage and exposure to COVID-19 despite workplace precautions were discovered.
The responded to Insideworldfootball’s questions saying: “FIFA provides competing nations with a list of hotels that can be used during tournaments, therefore any questions relating to hotels should be directed towards FIFA, who carry out an auditing process on the accommodation suggested. We are carrying out our own due diligence on human rights and will be having separate conversations with hotel management and staff at our preferred England hotel, to ensure that we understand the steps they have taken to meet their legal obligations and to meet the required standards on workers’ rights.”
Last month, FIFA confirmed all the team base camps and training centres for the 32 finalists at the World Cup. Hosts Qatar, awarded the hosting rights for the tournament in 2010, have been heavily criticised for their human rights record and labour abuses in the construction of World Cup-related infrastructure and the service industry at large.
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