FIFA has revealed that it will be playing host to a delegation from Amnesty International (AI) in Zurich on Monday to “discuss the situation of migrant workers in Qatar in connection with the World Cup Qatar 2022”.
AI, who released findings back in 2013 of project builders in the Middle East being “treated like cattle”, is preparing to hand over a petition calling on FIFA to address concerns regarding working and living conditions.
World football’s governing body says it is happy to hold such discussions as experts and partners from across the board cast an eye over “the progress achieved so far and the challenges that still remain”.
What has been said?
Chief social responsibility & education officer, Joyce Cook, told FIFA’s official website: “We very much welcome the ongoing engagement with Amnesty International and are always open to transparently and constructively discussing and addressing any concerns that our stakeholders may have.
“We remain fully committed to ensuring the protection of workers engaged in the delivery of the World Cup, and we are confident that the tournament will also serve as a catalyst for broader positive and lasting change across the host country.
“As widely recognised by international expert organisations, the World Cup has already contributed significantly to improved labour conditions in the region and it is clear that Qatar is on the right track having introduced sweeping labour reforms and making substantial progress, in what has been a comparatively very short period of time”.
The bigger picture
FIFA claims that ILO, ITUC, BWI and other international expert organisations have already recognised that “the FIFA World Cup has contributed significantly to an improvement of labour conditions in Qatar, with heightened standards set by the local World Cup organisers, and wider legislative change introduced in the area of workers’ rights.”
The latest meeting with AI is intended to assess the status of reforms implemented for workers and will start to focus more on the service sector as construction work is gradually phased out.
FIFA added on said plans: “This has involved the development of an audit and inspection programme for the hospitality sector as well as due diligence measures for service companies deployed on FIFA competition sites.
“The exchange with AI and labour experts will allow us to discuss those initiatives in detail as part of FIFA’s ongoing engagement with human rights and labour organisations ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
The World Cup finals are edging ever closer, with the competition due to get under way on November 21 while running through to December 18.