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2 Nov 2022

Michael Page & Minky Worden, Human Rights Watch

Why is Qatar Opposing a Remedy Fund for Migrant Workers?

Qatar’s Labour Minister Ali bin Samikh Al Marri rejected creating a remedy fund for harmed migrant workers today.

His response ignores growing criticism of Qatar’s labor rights record and support for the migrant workers who faced abuses creating the World Cup infrastructure. Instead, Al Marri cited Qatar’s recent labor reforms and questioned the feasibility of the remedy fund.

While Qatar has made notable reforms, research by Human Rights Watch has found that they came late, were narrow in scope, or were weakly enforced, which meant many workers who helped build the World Cup infrastructure fell through the cracks.

Also, Qatari authorities and origin country governments do have data and information on abuses – including worker deaths. A remedy fund would strengthen existing compensation schemes and reach more workers, including those still seeking wages stolen from them.  It would also reach the families of workers who died in circumstances Qatari authorities never investigated, allowing families who lost a provider to feed themselves and send their children to school.

Regardless of Qatar’s response, FIFA, football’s global governing body, has the resources and the responsibility to act.