Rights group urges FIFA, Qatar to compensate World Cup workers

With 100 days to go until the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, Human Rights Watch on Friday again urged FIFA and the host country to improve compensation for migrant workers and their families. The human rights group called for a “comprehensive redress program for workers who suffered serious harm, including death, injury and wage theft” while working on World Cup-related projects such as stadiums, transport and hotels.

Qatar has spent tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure since being chosen by FIFA to host in 2010, and has faced intense scrutiny over its labor laws and treatment of hundreds of thousands of workers, many from South Asia, who were needed to reach the small town. emirate and we build the projects.

“Qatar has compensated some migrant workers who have suffered serious abuse in recent years, but for many these programs were created too late and are still an important work in progress,” said Michael Page, HRW’s deputy director for the ‘Middle East.

Since 2010, the agency said, the level of “uncompensated human rights abuses … is significant.” In Qatar, a Workers’ Support Fund has paid out $164 million in compensation to 36,373 workers from 17 different countries since 2020, HRW said, citing data from Qatar’s Ministry of Labour.

The organization did not specify how much compensation is still needed, although Amnesty International has suggested that FIFA should pay $440 million in compensation to workers; the sum that football’s world body will pay in prizes to the 32 national federations whose teams play. in Qatar

FIFA and tournament organizers have long cited the World Cup as a catalyst for modernizing laws and society in Qatar. In response to Amnesty in May, Qatari organizers noted ‚Äúsignificant improvements… in accommodation standards, health and safety regulations, complaints mechanisms, healthcare provision and fee reimbursement of illegal recruitment to workers”.

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