Over 250,000 migrant workers are working on the infrastructure of the 2022 Qatar Football World Cup. Complementing the heat, the Kafala system engenders dangerous conditions for the workers. Until now FIFA has failed to ensure sufficient protection and decent working conditions for the concerned. To remedy this the existing contracts with Qatar must be amended.
With the investment of $50 billion, Qatar is planning one of the most expensive sporting events in recorded history. Six of the twelve World Cup stadiums are being built in Doha and the others in the surroundings. Eight of them are new and four existing arenas are being expanded. This is mainly being done by migrant workers from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India.
Upon arrival in Qatar the workers often realize that the working conditions are much worse than what was promised. Besides salary payment delays, the safety conditions on the sites are a big problem. Since World Cup construction started hundreds of migrant workers have died. Furthermore the Kafala system prevents workers from leaving the country or changing employer; doing that requires consent from the current employer. This leads to a situation that can be characterized as modern slavery.
Fifa is responsible
Solidar Suisse campaigns for the inclusion of social criteria in the contracts between Fifa and Qatar. As the World Cup organizer Fifa must promote decent working conditions for stadium construction and the respect of human rights in all matters connected to the World Cup. These guidelines should conform to the ILO Core Labour Standards and the UN Human Rights Conventions.
Fotos: Doha 2015, Thomas Nyberg