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11 Apr 2024

Saudi Arabia: Rights groups urge alignment with intl. norms amid concern for incidence & recording of migrant worker deaths in anticipated FIFA World Cup host; incl. co. responses


Ahead of the bid deadline for the FIFA World Cup 2034 in 2024, a Guardian report published in March explores concerns around the high incidence of migrant worker deaths in Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom prepares its joint bid for the football tournament. The report highlights the high incidence of unexplained Bangladeshi migrant worker deaths in the country, an alleged failure of the state to investigate underlying causes of deaths, a lack of data on death rates and the lack of compensation for families of deceased Bangladeshi workers.

If Fifa has learned anything from Qatar it should be that it must pay close attention to human rights risks in potential host countries before awarding them the World Cup.
Ella Knight, Amnesty International’s migrant labour rights researcher

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre wrote to FIFA to invite the governing body to clarify how it will ensure compliance with internationally recognised human rights standards before the tournament is awarded to Saudi Arabia, as called for in the article by Amnesty International. FIFA's response can be read in full below; their reply reiterates their statement in response to rights concerns and the bid process of November 2023. The Resource Centre will update this page and FIFA's page on our website as appropriate with further information on the bid and publicly available information regarding FIFA's human rights due diligence processes.