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26 Mar 2021

Qatar: Amnesty International urge FIFA to "live up to" human rights responsibilities as WC2022 qualifiers renew scrutiny on labour abuse; incl. co. response

Qatar World Cup 2022 venue Al Wakrah Stadium

In March 2021, Julie Verhaar, Amnesty International’s Acting Secretary General, wrote to Gianni Infantino regarding Amnesty International’s concerns over labour rights in Qatar and urging the sports body to use its leverage with the Qatari authorities to ameliorate the situation for migrant workers in the country, living up to its international human rights responsibilities. Amnesty International notes that while Qatar has made a number of positive labour reforms in recent years and FIFA has taken steps to establish a Human Rights Policy and joint FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy, labour abuse remains prevalent.

In their letter, Amnesty International highlights that “while FIFA might not be directly linked to human rights harm occurring in service sectors operating outside of FIFA accredited World Cup sites, it nonetheless has a responsibility to mitigate human rights risks that arise from the increase in business in these related sectors created by the tournament”, and sets out five recommendations regarding proposed actions FIFA can take to fulfil its human rights responsibilities.

FIFA's response to Amnesty International's letter can be read in full below.Qatar: Amnesty International urge FIFA to "live up to" human rights responsibilities as WC2022 qualifiers renew scrutiny on labour abuses against migrant workers

FIFA has a responsibility under international standards to mitigate human rights risks arising from the tournament. This includes risks to workers in industries like hospitality and transport, which have expanded massively to facilitate the delivery of the games. This week’s qualifiers are a reminder that the window for FIFA to influence Qatar is closing – it must act now to ensure that the 2022 World Cup is a tournament to be proud of, and not one tainted by labour abuses.
Steve Cockburn, Head of Economic and Social Justice at Amnesty International

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