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15 Mar 2023

Building and Wood Workers International; Education International; IndustriALL; International Federation of Journalists, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations; Public Services International; International Arts and Entertainment Alliance; UNI Global Union.

Qatar: Progress on labour rights, employer accountability & dialogue have "ceased" following World Cup, say eight global unions

"FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: No legacy without trade union rights," 15 Mar 2023

On the eve of FIFA 73rd Congress in Rwanda, the undersigned Global Union Federations express serious concerns on the decent work legacy of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup and the sustainability of labour reforms in Qatar. As the Tournament has left town, so have the hopes of migrant workers to have a say in their lives and in their futures. In the run up to the recent FIFA World Cup, rather than accelerating reforms and preparing for the future, progress on implementing labour law changes slowed down, employer lawlessness increased, and dialogue on cooperation with some Global Union Federations and migrant workers came to an abrupt halt. The lack of further progress to protect human rights, including the fundamental rights of workers to associate and bargain collectively, shows that, to date, there is not a tangible or lasting legacy of the FIFA 2022 World Cup of which Qatar, FIFA, and the world could be proud.

Reports on the ground in Qatar, reveal continuous breaches of the new labour legislation by rogue employers emboldened by an absence of enforcement and growing confidence that rights violations will go unpunished. The threats, arrests, and sudden halt of meaningful cooperation with the Global Union Federations, such as the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) further confirm a deteriorating environment and reticence to build on progress achieved through dialogue and cooperation. Positive change has ceased not only because of the lack of political will or active opposition by many abusive employers, but also because of the lack of progress on International Labour Organisations’ (ILO) Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, especially the refusal to permit the exercise of Freedom of Association....