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20 Oct 2022

Qatar 2022: Amnesty Intl. says labour reform progress must not halt once tournament is over as it sets action plan to address remaining gaps

On the one month countdown to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Amnesty International published their briefing Unfinished Business: What Qatar must do to fulfil promises on migrant workers' rights which explores the labour reform efforts Qatar embarked on since 2017 in collaboration with the ILO to dismantle the sponsorship (kafala) system, protect wages, ensure workers are able to voice their concerns, among other key contributions.

The briefing then highlights significant gaps that persist despite these reforms, and which still require interventions. These gaps manifest in labour abuses including, but not limited to, prevalent recruitment fee payments, overwork, and freedom of expression, and also the lack of adequate protection measures in certain sectors, namely security and domestic work. The bulk of briefing list in detail a ten-point action plan addressed at both Qatar and FIFA to address these gaps, as follows:

  1. End forced labour
  2. Protect domestic workers
  3. Investigate workers' deaths and strengthen heat protections
  4. Strengthen and expand the scope of workers' welfare standards
  5. Fully end the Kafala system
  6. Allow trade unions
  7. Increase the minimum wage and strengthen wage protections
  8. Tackle recruitment abuse
  9. Strengthen remedy mechanisms
  10. Compensate historic abuses.
“Although Qatar has made important strides on labour rights over the past five years, it’s abundantly clear that there is a great distance still to go...Progress must not grind to a halt once the World Cup roadshow leaves Doha. Turning a blind eye to the abuses suffered by thousands of migrant workers over the years flies in the face of their respective international obligations and responsibilities.”
Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice