World Cup 2022: Amnesty Worldwide urges FIFA to earmark no less than $440M to compensate migrant staff in Qatar

In an open letter despatched to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Amnesty Worldwide and a collection of different human rights teams mentioned world soccer’s governing physique ought to work with Qatar to “set up a complete programme to make sure all labor abuses to which FIFA contributed are remedied.”

“With six months till the opening of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, tons of of hundreds of migrant staff haven’t obtained ample treatment, together with monetary compensation, for critical labour abuses they suffered whereas constructing and servicing infrastructure important for the preparation and supply of the World Cup in Qatar,” the letter learn.

“FIFA ought to reserve an quantity not lower than the US$440 million prize cash supplied to groups collaborating within the World Cup, to be invested in funds to assist remediation.”

There was widespread criticism of the therapy of migrant staff in Qatar through the buildup to the event.

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Amnesty Worldwide says the problems, which embrace unsafe working situations and extreme hours, are “widespread” within the nation.

The letter additionally mentioned Qatari authorities have “failed to analyze the causes of deaths of hundreds of migrant staff since 2010.”

Whereas recognizing the progress made to guard staff’ rights within the nation, it mentioned assist got here too late and that the nation’s “kafala sponsorship system” allowed “unscrupulous employers to abuse migrant staff with impunity.”

“Whereas it might be too late to erase the struggling of previous abuses, FIFA and Qatar can and may act to supply redress and stop additional abuses from going down,” mentioned Agnès Callamard, Secretary Normal of Amnesty Worldwide.

“Offering compensation to staff who gave a lot to make the event occur, and taking steps to verify such abuses by no means occur once more, might symbolize a significant turning level in FIFA’s dedication to respect human rights.”

FIFA response

FIFA mentioned it welcomed Amnesty’s acknowledgment of labor reforms throughout the nation and mentioned it, alongside Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy (SC), was “implementing an unprecedented due diligence course of” in relation to defending staff concerned in World Cup preparations.

It additionally mentioned it was “at the moment assessing the programme proposed by Amnesty Worldwide” however that the report lined “a variety of non-FIFA World Cup-specific public infrastructure constructed since 2010.”

“When firms working in relation to the FIFA World Cup breach their obligations, FIFA and the SC work to make sure the unsuitable is made proper by the entity that prompted the influence, often the corporate using the respective employee,” a FIFA spokesperson mentioned in a press release to CNN.

“As a consequence of the Employees’ Welfare initiatives by the event organisers, numerous staff have obtained remediation in varied kinds, together with the fee of excellent wages, the reimbursement of recruitment charges by means of the SC’s common reimbursement scheme and different types of compensation.

“As a part of the SC’s effort to make sure reimbursement of recruitment charges, for instance, staff have obtained funds of a complete of $22.6 million as at December 2021, with an extra $5.7 million dedicated by contractors.

“Different types of remediation embrace the strengthening of firm observe to make sure non-repetition, or punitive measures imposed by the event organisers or the Ministry of Labour.”

Infantino feedback

In a press release, SC mentioned it has “labored tirelessly to make sure the rights of each employee engaged on Qatar’s FIFA World Cup tasks are revered.”

Qatari officers have strongly contested accusations of staff’ rights abuses in earlier statements.

Earlier this yr, Qatar 2022 Secretary Normal Hassan Al Thawadi mentioned that his nation had “spent 12 years of steady work devoted to delivering a event that leaves actually transformational social, human, financial and environmental legacies.”

In response to Amnesty Worldwide’s newest report, Qatar’s Ministry of Labour mentioned the nation’s “labour reforms will proceed to happen at a tempo that ensures holistic and lasting change.”

“The brand new report undermines a lot of the goodwill that has been generated. Engagement will all the time yield higher outcomes than condemnation, particularly when they’re unreasonably demanded,” a press release learn.

Earlier this month, Infantino was requested about whether or not FIFA would make any dedication to households of people that died within the preparations for the event.

“With regards to the constructing of World Cup stadiums — we’re investigating all these issues with exterior entities — it’s truly three individuals who died,” he mentioned, addressing the criticism leveled at FIFA and Qatari officers about migrant staff.

“While you give work to any individual, even in onerous situations, you give him dignity and pleasure. It is not charity. You do not make charity.

“You do not give one thing to any individual and say, ‘OK, keep the place you’re. I really feel good as a result of I may give you one thing.'”

The 2022 World Cup is about to run between November 21 and December 18 later this yr.

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