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6 Apr 2022

Dan Road, BBC Sports (UK),
// 20 Minutes et AFP (France)

Qatar World Cup: Security guards made to do 'forced labour' - Amnesty

Security guards in Qatar working on projects that include some linked to the 2022 World Cup have been subjected to conditions "which amount to forced labour," claims Amnesty.

In a new report published just days after the official draw for the tournament, the human rights organisation documented the experiences of 34 employees from eight private security companies.

It said the migrant workers described working for months or even years on end without a day off.

Most said their employers refused to respect the weekly rest day which is required by Qatari law, and workers who took their day off faced being punished with arbitrary wage deductions.

Amnesty says the workers were employed by private companies which provided services for sites including football stadiums, as well as other infrastructure projects essential for the World Cup.

At least three of the companies provided security for recent Fifa tournaments in Qatar, including the 2020 Club World Cup and the 2021 Fifa Arab Cup.

Amnesty said that while Fifa and World Cup organisers the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) did not renew the contracts of two of the three companies, "neither body provided sufficient detail to assess whether this disengagement was carried out responsibly, transparently and as a last resort".

Amnesty interviewed the current or former security guards, supervisors and safety officers between April 2021 and February 2022 and claims the consistency of the accounts across multiple companies "indicates that these abuses are systemic".