Amnesty pressures FIFA to release post-Qatar 2022 report into migrant worker conditions

Qatari construction workers

May 10 – With the FIFA Congress taking place next week, Amnesty International has pressed the world governing body to publish the long-awaited Qatar labour report into the treatment and rights of migrant workers who built World Cup infrastructure.

At the last FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, FIFA commissioned a report to address the question of the labour legacy of the 2022 World Cup. The findings were approved by the FIFA Council in March.

In the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup finals, Qatar came under intense scrutiny for the treatment and welfare of their migrant workforce. The host nation partnered with the International Labour Organisation, a UN body, and claimed to abolish the infamous kafala system, but reporting by, predominantly, The Guardian, Josimar and Ekstra Bladet, found that workers still had little legal protection or recourse to any form of justice when faced with labour abuses.

“Ahead of its annual congress next week FIFA should make public the review it ordered into the organization’s responsibilities to redress human rights abuses related to the 2022 World Cup and respond positively and rapidly to its recommendations. FIFA received this review months ago but has yet to disclose or act on its findings,” said Amnesty International’s Head of Labour Rights and Sport Steve Cockburn.

“This delay only prolongs the suffering of families who lost loved ones, and workers who were abused, while delivering FIFA’s flagship event. FIFA cannot erase this pain but it can set out a clear plan to deliver justice and commit some of its vast resources towards remedying the harms it has contributed to,” he continued.

“The contents of the report may make uncomfortable reading for FIFA but there is overwhelming public support for it to act and no excuse for stalling any longer. A commitment to remedying the abuses related to the last World Cup would be a vital step towards FIFA finally fulfilling its human rights responsibilities and could be life-changing for workers and their families.”

Consultancy Human Level wrote the report and submitted it to FIFA and its Sub-Committee on Human Rights and Social Responsibility, chaired by the honourable Michael Llamas, in December.

FIFA had first intended to publish or communicate detail from the report before the end of 2023, but the report that a different number of options remain under review, raise questions as to why FIFA is dragging its feet.

Before the World Cup in Qatar, Amnesty International and other rights groups had called on FIFA and the host nation to create a compensation fund for migrant workers to the tune of $440 million, the equivalent of the prize money on offer at the finals. Calls for the establishment of a migrant worker union in Doha were also largely ignored.

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