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5 Apr 2017

Tom Finn, Reuters (Qatar)

Qatar World Cup workers pay recruitment fees, work 18-hour days: report

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Hundreds of Asian workers pay recruitment fees for jobs building World Cup stadiums in Qatar and some end up working for nearly five months without a day of rest, according to an investigation funded by the Gulf state's World Cup organizing body...The Impactt report presented to the tournament's organizing committee includes testimonies from migrants who work 18-hour days for six days a week on stadium sites and whose passports are held by their employers. Three workers said they had worked for 148 consecutive days, nearly five months, without a rest, while more than three-quarters of the 253 workers interviewed said they paid recruitment fees to agents in their home countries...Hassan al-Thawadi, Qatar's 2022 committee chief, said he welcomed the report which had identified challenges and demonstrated progress made by Qatar on workers' rights. "We respect the constructive observations and recommendations made. We will do everything necessary to ensure the issues identified are dealt with promptly," Thawadi said...The 46-page document said Qatar had improved workers' accommodation and safety on construction sites by increasing inspections and suspending contractors found violating worker welfare provisions.