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9 Nov 2022

Matt Sullivan, Rolling Stones

'A World Cup Built on Modern Slavery’: Stadium Workers Blow the Whistle on Qatar’s ‘Coverup’ of Migrant Deaths and Suffering

Shutterstock (purchased)

According to the eight-year investigation by Equidem into the labor conditions under 16 construction firms, scheduled for released on Thursday and shared exclusively with Rolling Stone, World Cup stadium workers were subjected to “captive and controllable” conditions as Qatar’s government and FIFA shielded “forced labor” under the veneer of reform. The revelations come as more leading rights organizations and watchdogs are sounding the activist alarm — with confidential and undercover access to dozens of migrant whistleblowers — concerning unaccounted worker deaths and families of migrants left uncompensated and homeless while the Qataris and their partners generate up to $17 billion once the tournament kicks off this month...

In a statement to Rolling Stone, a spokesperson for FIFA said that soccer’s governing body was in contact with its Qatari counterparts to assess the findings of Equidem’s report.

After this article was published, an official for the Qatari government provided a statement praising its own “comprehensive labour reform package.” Qatar, according to the statement, “conducted 3,712 labour inspections last month and has launched several national campaigns to raise awareness of the new labour laws. As a result of our actions and tough enforcement, the number of labour-related offences has declined year-on-year.”...