August 15 – With the World Cup in Qatar just three months away, Human Rights Watch has stepped up its campaign to urge FIFA and the host nation to improve compensation for migrant workers and their families.
The group has called for a “comprehensive remedy programme for workers who suffered serious harms, including deaths, injuries, and wage theft” while working on World Cup-related projects.
Qatar continues to come under intense scrutiny over its treatment of migrant workers, most of them from south Asia.
“Qatar has compensated some migrant workers who have faced serious abuses in recent years, but for many, these programmes were created too late and are still a major work in progress,” said Michael Page, HRW’s deputy director for the Middle East.
“With the tournament nearly a hundred days away, it is critical for FIFA and Qatari authorities to publicly commit to providing compensation for workers and their families who suffered serious harm while making the World Cup possible.”
The organization did not specify a figure for how much compensation is still needed, though Amnesty International has suggested FIFA should pay out $440 million, matching the sum of prize money to the 32 national teams in the finals.
The Qatari authorities have made significant strides in addressing some of the issues relating to migrant workers but Page said the concessions made so far are not enough.
“It is imperative for FIFA and Qatar to finally compensate the migrant workers for the abuses they suffered,” Page said. “If not, World Cup 2022 will be remembered for its legacy of unaddressed labour and human rights abuses.”
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