More than 24,000 labourers have suffered human rights abuses in Qatar, according to a campaign group that has calculated the toll taken on those who have built the World Cup‘s infrastructure. The findings of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre were published on April 1, 2022.
The campaign group that has been tracking human rights abuses in Qatar since 2016, has recorded 211 abuse cases affecting 24,400 workers. It has traced abuse cases to construction of seven of the eight tournament stadiums.
According to reports, majority of abuse cases relate to non-payment of salaries, including unpaid wages and failure to honour benefits. But there have been frequent health and safety breaches, the new report claims, that have led to death, injuries and dangerous working conditions. Migrants’ freedom of expression and freedom of movement have also been curtailed, it says, adding that the majority of abuse cases involved South Asian and East African workers.
The Guardian reported that more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since the Islamic country won the World Cup bid. “An average of 12 migrant workers from these five south Asian nations have died each week since the night in December 2010 when the streets of Doha were filled with ecstatic crowds celebrating Qatar’s victory,” the report revealed.
According to another report by Human Rights Watch, thousands of migrant workers in Qatar have not received financial compensation or any other adequate remedy for serious labor abuses suffered while building and servicing infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup.
On May 19, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, FairSquare, and a global coalition of migrant rights groups, labor unions, international football fans, abuse survivors, and business and rights groups said that the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the government of Qatar should provide remedy for serious abuses that migrant workers have suffered since the 2022 World Cup was awarded in 2010. These include thousands of unexplained deaths and injuries, wage theft, and exorbitant recruitment fees. Human Rights Watch has opened a global campaign, #PayUpFIFA, to support this coalition call. Amnesty International is releasing a report, “Predictable and Preventable,” setting out how FIFA and Qatar can remedy 12 years of abuses.
“FIFA and Qatar have failed migrant workers, who have been essential for the 2022 World Cup, but they can still provide compensation to those seriously harmed and the families of the many who died,” said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch. “FIFA should immediately set aside the funds needed to provide an adequate remedy and avoid the legacy of a ‘World Cup of Shame.’”