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Clarification statement to stakeholders by FIFA regarding the Amnesty International publication of 25 September 2018 involving a company operating in Qatar

Author: FIFA, Published on: 28 September 2018

On 25 September 2018, Amnesty International published a press statement and short report documenting labour rights abuses of workers employed for an engineering company, which works on a construction site in Qatar. The report describes serious allegations of human rights violations against that company. We sincerely hope that these allegations will be further investigated and, if confirmed, fully remedied by those responsible.

Given however that both Amnesty International and multiple international media outlets are linking these reported abuses to FIFA and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we feel compelled to issue some clarifications:

Contrary to what is stated by Amnesty International and these media outlets, there are no reasons to believe that the reported violations are related to any construction project linked to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The company named in the report is not employed on a stadium construction site for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and we have no information suggesting that it is working on another site directly linked to the delivery of the tournament. We invited Amnesty International to clarify but did not receive any further information that would establish a linkage under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.     

Our assessment seems to be supported by Amnesty International itself, which stated in a communication to FIFA on 25 September that the report is in fact not focusing on FIFA World Cup infrastructure and that it makes merely general links with World Cup-linked construction. Amnesty International later made similar comments in international media. 

We regret that Amnesty International chose to frame its report and public statement in such a misleading manner, which eventually led to deeply erroneous media coverage. We do not think that this course of action meets the standards of evidence-based and fair reporting and campaigning Amnesty International sets for itself and others. 

Irrespective of the above, FIFA fully recognises its responsibility, in accordance with its Human Rights Policy and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other relevant international standards, to work to ensure respect for human rights in all activities associated with its operations. In the context of labour rights in Qatar, FIFA continues to engage closely with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and other parties on their well-documented work to enforce heightened labour standards on FIFA World Cup construction sites and will continue to engage constructively with Amnesty International and other external stakeholders as part of that effort. 

For more information on the Workers’ Welfare programme of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, see: https://www.sc.qa/en/opportunities/workers-welfare 

Zurich, 27 September 2018

Download the full document here

Related companies: FIFA