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25 Nov 2021

Kieron Monks, inews

Qatar: "Despite promises" & spotlight of World Cup, not enough being done to improve workers' rights, finds report

Saima Mustafa, Shutterstock (purchased)

"Qatar World Cup 2022: Glittering World Cup stadiums 'cost workers their lives' as Qatar fails to protect them," 20 Nov 2021

Nadim Mollah was buying cigarettes when police picked him up. A Bangladeshi national, Mollah was a car washer for a limousine company in the Qatari capital, Doha, living above the garage with seven other workers. But the manager had allowed his residency permit to expire, leaving him undocumented...

Experiences like Mollah’s provide worrying evidence that, despite promises of change, not enough is being done to improve human rights in Qatar ahead of next year’s World Cup...

Critics of Qatar’s autocratic regime concede there have been some improvements in recent years. “We were already campaigning,” says Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the ITUC. “But the leverage of having the World Cup awarded was terrific to get the spotlight.”...

... NGOs are shifting focus to the hospitality sector, which is expanding to cater for an estimated 1.2 million visitors...

This too is rife with exploitative practices, according to research by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, which found migrant workers paying extortionate recruitment fees, being prevented from leaving jobs, passport confiscation and wage discrimination.

“Much of this points to conditions of forced labour,” the report concluded.