Amnesty report documents migrant worker abuse on Qatar's Khalifa Stadium, implicates companies in contracting chain

Amnesty International's new report, The ugly side of the beautiful game: Labour exploitation on a Qatar World Cup site, uncovers evidence of  "systematic abuse" of migrant workers. The report draws from interviews with 132 migrant construction workers working on Khalifa International Stadium in Doha and 102 landscapers who work in the Aspire Zone sports complex that surrounds it.

Scroll down to read the report, company responses and media coverage.

The report is strongly critical of FIFA and describes the Qatari government as "apathetic" towards evidence of abuse despite direct contraventions of the Qatari Labour Law. It points to "significant gaps in application" of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy's Worker Welfare Standards, which place the onus on companies to self-audit. The report names the companies and organisations in the contracting chain who either failed to undertake the necessary human rights due diligence or are directly responsible for the abuse. These are:

The Aspire Zone Foundation

    • client, operating on behalf of the Supreme Committee.
    • failure to ensure effective implementation of the Workers' Welfare Standards and inadequate due diligence with regards to the rights and welfare of migrant workers employed on its projects.

Midmac

    • main contractor in a joint venture with Six Construct.
    • failure to carry out appropriate due diligence on Eversendai and its subcontractors and inadequate response to abuses.

Six Construct

    • main contractor in a joint venture with Midmac; subsidiary of the Belgian company Besix.
    • failure to carry out appropriate due diligence on Eversendai and its subcontractors and inadequate response to abuses.

Eversendai 

    • sub-contractor; subsidiary of the Malaysian company Eversendai.
    • failure to undertake adequate due diligence on labour supply companies.
    • abuses included passport retention and poor accommodation.

Seven Hills Trading and Contracting WLL and Blue Bay Trading and Contracting WLL

    • labour supply companies; sub-contracted by Eversendai.
    • abuses included deceptive recruitment practices, retention of passports, inadequate accommodation, delays in payments of salaries, failure to provide and renew residence permits, threat of penalties and evidence of forced labour.

Nakheel Landscapes

    • landscaping contractor for the green spaces around Khalifa International Stadium; not officially a World Cup project.
    • failure to act with due diligence on the recruitment and treatment of migrant workers..
    • abuses included inadequate accommodation, recruitment fees and deceptive recruitment and retention of passports.
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Author: Concepcion Alvarez, Novethic (France) (copyright: www.novethic.fr)

« Coupe du monde 2022 au Qatar : les droits bafoués de milliers de travailleurs migrants », 31 mars 2016

La Coupe du monde 2022 sera-t-elle entachée de violation des droits des travailleurs ? Amnesty International sort aujourd’hui un rapport choc. Pendant un an, l’ONG a suivi des migrants embauchés pour la rénovation d’un stade à Doha et l’aménagement d’espaces verts alentour. Tous sont victimes d’abus, voire de travail forcé. Le gouvernement qatari, les entreprises présentes sur place, mais aussi la FIFA sont pointés du doigt...[Lire la suite : http://www.novethic.fr/index.php?id=237&tx_ausynovethicarticles_articles[article]=143872&L=0] [Fait référence à Adidas, Blue Bay, Coca-Cola, Eversendai Qatar, McDonald’s, Midmac/Six Construct, Nakheel Landscapes, Seven Hills]

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Article
1 April 2016

Eversendai refutes labour abuses in World Cup project

Author: Ashley Tang, The Star Online (Malaysia)

Malaysian company Eversendai Corp Bhd has denied...human rights abuses in a Qatar 2022 World Cup project...In a statement released on Friday, Eversendai said it only held workers' passports if they specifically asked to do so for safekeeping. "All passports have been returned to the workers, irrespective of their preference," it added. Eversendai admitted that although there were shortcomings in workers' accommodation, the matter was rectified by the middle of 2015 and it is now in compliance with the Workers' Welfare Standards drawn up by Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC). It also confirmed that it stopped the services of two labour supply companies, Seven Hills Trading and Blue Bay Contracting, months before the Amnesty report was published. However, SC said in a statement on Thursday that although Eversendai had gone through significant rectification processes, it has been banned from subsequent World Cup projects until it shows "sustainable improvements".

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Author: CNN Arabic

قال حسن الذوادي، الأمين العام للجنة العليا لقطر 2022، إن الجهود التي تبذل في سبيل التطرق للأمور والمسائل التي ذكرها تقرير آمنسي كبيرة، مؤكدا على أن اللجنة لم تقل إنها ستتمكن من حل جميع المسائل من اللحظة الأولى. وتابع قائلا: "أربعة شركات ذكرت في التقرير من بين 40 شركة في ملعب خليفة تم التعامل معهم، إحدى هذه الشركات حظرت إلى حين تصويب وضعها وتعمل حاليا على ذلك، وشركتان لن يتم التعامل معهما في التعهدات المستقبلية، أما الشركة الرابعة فقد أصبحت نموذجا في الالتزام بمعاييرنا وفي الفترة بالعام 2015 قاما بتصويب العديد من الأمور التي لفت عليها التقرير   

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Article
31 March 2016

BESIX remains fully committed to continue its efforts for the welfare of Qatar workers following Amnesty International’s latest Report

Author: Besix

[O]ur company is fully cooperating with Amnesty International by providing feedback to their questionnaires, including queries about subcontractors working on the Khalifa Stadium project. We do so because we share Amnesty International’s concern for human rights in general and the welfare of migrant workers specifically...as we are open to suggestions to further improve our working processes we will thoroughly look into the recommendations made by Amnesty International to enable us to act faster and we will seek additional ways to make sure our business partners fully comply with the Workers Welfare Standards.

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Article
31 March 2016

Government of Qatar response to Amnesty International report

Author: Qatar News Agency

The Government of Qatar considers the welfare of our guest workers a top priority and is committed to the ongoing, systematic reform of Qatar’s labour laws. Our goal is to create a legacy of improved conditions for workers in Qatar and to set the standard for both labour rights and human rights in the Gulf region. We acknowledge the progress that has been made by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. To that end, we are well aware that our efforts are a work-in-progress, and we welcome the efforts Amnesty and other NGOs are making to help us identify areas for further improvement. Though many of the points raised by Amnesty have already been addressed through recent legislative changes, we are concerned by a number of allegations contained within the report. The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs intends to investigate the contractors named in the report.

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Article
31 March 2016

Malaysian company in World Cup project cited for labour abuse

Author: Ashley Tang, The Star Online (Malaysia)

A Malaysian company [Eversendai] has been implicated in claims of abuse of migrant workers employed for a Qatar 2022 World Cup stadium project...[Amnesty International's] Gulf migrant rights researcher...said...that 24 of the 98 men who worked on the Khalifa Stadium Project were employed directly by the Malaysian company...the remaining 74 were employed under two labour supply outfits contracted by the Malaysian company...[A]buses included workers having to pay large fees to recruiters in their home country, being deceived over the pay or type of work offered, unpaid salaries, employers not giving or renewing residence permits and workers being threatened for complaining about their conditions...[T]he Malaysian company had failed to investigate the abuses that were taking place on the project..."Even though they gave two very detailed letters which we have provided on our website, clearly the most serious labour practices have not really been addressed," he said.

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Article
31 March 2016

Qatar World Cup 2022: FIFA ignoring migrant workers abuses, says Amnesty (includes statement from Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy)

Author: Danielle Rossingh, CNN (International)

Qatar said the "tone of Amnesty International's latest assertions paint a misleading picture"..."We have always maintained this World Cup will act as a catalyst for change -- it will not be built on the back of exploited workers," said the gulf kingdom's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy in a statement sent to CNN. "We wholly reject any notion that Qatar is unfit to host the World Cup. Amnesty International's investigation was limited to just four companies out of more than 40 currently engaged on Khalifa International Stadium. The conditions reported were not representative of the entire work force on Khalifa. Many of the issues raised had been addressed by June of 2015, months before the publication of Amnesty's report."

Watch: Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary General of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, tells CNN that Qatar is taking migrant workers abuse seriously...[refers to measures taken against companies mentioned in Amnesty International's report].

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31 March 2016

Qatar: Abuse of World Cup workers exposed

Author: Amnesty International

Migrant workers building Khalifa International Stadium in Doha for the 2022 World Cup have suffered systematic abuses, in some cases forced labour, Amnesty International reveals in a new report...calling on major World Cup sponsors like Adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s to pressure FIFA to address the exploitation of workers on Khalifa stadium, and disclose its plan for preventing further abuses in World Cup projects...[also refers to Midmac, (Besix) Six Construct, Eversendai, Seven Hills Trading and Contracting,  Blue Bay Trading and Contracting WLL, Nakheel Landscapes,  Aspire Zone Foundation and Aspire Logistics].

AMNESTY CAMPAIGN

Qatar World Cup of Shame

Take Action: Tell FIFA and sponsors to stop World Cup exploitation

Watch: World Cup 2022 Forced Labour

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31 March 2016

Qatar: Letters of response - The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game: Exploitation of Migrant Workers on a Qatar 2022 World Cup Site

All correspondences from the Qatar government, organisations and companies in relation to the abuse of migrant workers on Khalifa International Stadium and Aspire Zone...[includes reponses from FIFA, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Aspire Zone Foundation, Midmac-Six Construct JV, Midmac, Six Construct, Eversendai Engineering Qatar, Nakheel Landscapes]. 

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Author: CNN Arabic

اتهمت منظمة "العفو" الدولية قطر بما وصفته بـ"انتهاكات منهجية" لحقوق العمالة الوافدة في تقرير نشرته، الخميس، تحت عنوان "الجانب القبيح للرياضة الجميلة: استغلال العمال في قطر لكأس العالم"، فيما استنكرت السلطات القطرية أي اتهامات تُفيد بأن الدولة غير مؤهلة لاستضافة كأس العالم.

إذ قالت منظمة "العفو" إن لديها أدلة تؤكد "الانتهاكات المنهجية"، بما في ذلك العمل القسري للعمال المهاجرين في "استاد خليفة...وجدت المنظمة أن التجاوزات شملت: معيشة العمال في "أماكن قذرة وضيقة" ومصادرة أرباب العمل جوازات سفر العمال وتعرض العمال للتهديد لاعتراضهم على ظروف العمل واضطرار العمال إلى دفع ما يصل الى 4300 ألف دولار لمن وفر لهم الوظائف في بلادهم لكي يتمكنوا من الحصول على وظيفة في قطر، بالإضافة إلى عدم حصولهم على رواتبهم منذ شهور.

ومن جانبها قالت قطر إن "لهجة أحدث تأكيدات منظمة العفو الدولية ترسم صورة مضللة،" وقالت اللجنة العليا للمشاريع في بيان أرسلته إلى CNN: "نرفض تماما أي فكرة تُوحي أن قطر غير مؤهلة لاستضافة كأس العالم،" وأكدت أن استضافة كأس العالم "لن يُبنى على ظهور عمال مستغلين...وتابعت اللجنة في بيانها: "اقتصر تحقيق منظمة العفو الدولية على أربع شركات فقط من أصل أكثر من 40 تعمل حاليا على استاد خليفة الدولي. ولا تمثل الظروف المذكورة القوى العاملة بأكملها. وقد تم التعامل مع العديد من القضايا التي تناولها التقرير في يونيو/ حزيران عام 2015، قبل أشهر من نشر تقرير منظمة العفو الدولية."

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