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Labour rights and the Qatar World Cup 2022

In December 2010, Qatar won its bid to host the 2022 World Cup. In preparation, Qatar is spending an estimated US$100 billion on infrastructure, including a new airport, roads, hotels and stadiums.

The international media, unions and human rights organizations have shone a spotlight on abuses of migrant workers’ rights in Qatar. Major concerns include the exploitative “kafala” sponsorship system; lack of freedom of association / right to form unions; confiscation of passports; and harmful working and housing conditions. The World Cup provides an opportunity to push for change.

This page features the latest developments on labour rights in Qatar and highlights the role and responsibilities of companies operating in Qatar.

By The Numbers (January 2016 - March 2023)

These numbers are based on publicly reported allegations of labour rights abuse against migrant workers in Qatar, in which businesses are implicated. The actual numbers of incidents of abuse and affected migrant workers are believed to be higher.



Publicly reported regarding migrant worker abuse by companies in Qatar since 2016



Impacted in the documented cases


Wage delays

Withheld, delayed or non-payment of wages are a key feature of the cases we track - in 242 cases


Construction & Engineering

Construction is the most commonly cited sector in which abuse occurs - in 213 cases

Fauzan Fitria, Shutterstock (purchased)

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Parallel Portal

In November 2022 Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup, an international sporting event which capitalises on the premise of bringing people and cultures together. But behind sanitised images celebrating global diversity, serious human rights concerns remain, particularly in relation to the treatment of the two million migrant workers who live and work in Qatar under the effective control of their employer (the Kafala system).

Shutterstock (purchased)

Wake-up Call: Exploitative recruitment risk to migrant workers in Qatar's World Cup hotels

In our third survey of the sector, we invited 30 hotel brands, with over 115 properties across Qatar, to participate in a survey on their approach to fair recruitment of migrant workers in their operations. Answers by hotel brands show lack of evidence supporting brands’ compliance with the Employer Pays Principle, and low commitment to remediation of abuse including reimbursement of recruitment fees.

From the organisers

Qatar World Cup: Progress Report provides update on Sustainability commitments

The report provides an update on the progress made by the organisations on delivering on their five sustainability commitments made in their Sustainability Strategy published in 2019.

FIFA issues joint World Cup 2022 sustainability strategy with host Qatar

On 21 January, FIFA and hosts Qatar issued a joint FIFA World Cup 2022 sustainability strategy, outlining commitments around five key pillars, including on human capital and workers' rights, inclusivity and environmental protection

Workers' Welfare Standards initiate monitoring for 2022 World Cup contracts

Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) is the entity responsible for overseeing construction of stadiums and training sites. This page collates updates and reports from the SC on its implementation & monitoring of the WWS