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Swiss court rejects claim filed by Netherlands Trade Union Confederation against Fifa over alleged failure to protect migrant workers in Qatar

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« La justice suisse rejette une plainte contre la FIFA », 6 janvier 2017

Le tribunal du commerce du canton de Zurich n'entre pas en matière sur la plainte de trois syndicats contre la FIFA. Ils avaient critiqué l'organisation de football pour les conditions de travail des ouvriers émigrés travaillant au Qatar pour la coupe du monde 2022.

La FIFA salue la décision du tribunal…Elle prend très au sérieux les conditions de travail et le respect des droits humains dans le cadre de la coupe du monde 2022.

…Elle va continuer de s'engager auprès des autorités qataries pour que celles-ci assurent des conditions de travail décentes et sûres aux travailleurs…

Deux syndicats du Bangladesh et un des Pays-Bas ont reproché à la FIFA dans leur plainte que l'association de football n'en faisait pas assez pour améliorer les conditions de travail des travailleurs émigrés construisant des stades, des routes et des hôtels au Qatar…

Le tribunal de commerce a jugé que la plainte était irrecevable pour des raisons formelles…

…Un recours peut être déposé auprès du Tribunal fédéral.

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7 January 2017

Swiss court rules in FIFA's favor over Qatar labor lawsuit

Author: Shabina S. Khatri, Doha News (Qatar)

A commercial court in Zurich has rejected a lawsuit against FIFA that accused the body of failing to project migrant workers in Qatar.

The legal action was filed against FIFA last month by Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV)…

FNV asked the court to rule against FIFA for selecting Qatar as 2022 World Cup host before first demanding assurances about “fundamental human and labor rights of migrant construction workers, including the abolition of the kafala system.”

The union, which represents 1.1 million workers in the Netherlands and overseas, filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Bangladeshi man who worked in Qatar.

He was fired before the end of his contract and ended up in debt in his home country due to recruitment fees…

…[A] victory could have encouraged hundreds of thousands of other blue-collar workers to file legal claims against FIFA.

FIFA hailed the Swiss court’s decision, saying it takes working conditions and human rights issues in Qatar “very seriously.”…

…“We regret this decision very much, because it leaves migrant workers out in the cold,” [declared FNV]…


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6 January 2017

Swiss court rejects labour unions’ claim against FIFA concerning Qatar 2022

Author: FIFA

FIFA welcomes the decision of the Commercial Court of Zurich to reject a claim lodged by the Dutch trade union FNV, the Bangladeshi Free Trade Union Congress, the Bangladesh Building and Wood Workers Federation and the Bangladeshi citizen Nadim Shariful Alam concerning FIFA’s alleged wrongful conduct and liability for human rights violations in connection with the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

… FIFA monitors the situation very closely and, as recently stated by President Infantino, will continue to urge the Qatari authorities to ensure safe and decent working conditions for construction workers.

In recent years, a series of processes has been developed to identify and address human rights risks linked to the 2022 event…

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Author: RTS Info (Suisse)

« Plainte contre la FIFA au sujet de la situation des ouvriers de Qatar 2022 », 9 décembre 2016

La FIFA est poursuivie en justice par des syndicats néerlandais et bangladais. En cause, les conditions de travail déplorables des ouvriers travaillant sur les chantiers du Mondial 2022 au Qatar...

...Les ONG dénoncent une situation assimilable à de l'"esclavage moderne"...

...La FIFA...fait valoir qu'elle travaille en étroite collaboration avec les organisateurs de Qatar 2022 qui ont mis en place des normes. Elle estime qu'on ne peut pas la tenir pour responsable de tous les problèmes...

...C’est la première fois qu’une organisation enregistrée en Suisse est poursuivie devant un tribunal local pour violations des droits de l’homme à l’étranger...

...[L]e dossier comporte des "difficultés importantes", la question centrale consistant à savoir dans quelle mesure la FIFA peut être tenue pour responsable des agissements d'employeurs qataris... 

..."[E]n tant que propriétaire de la Coupe du Monde, la FIFA a un pouvoir de décision déterminant"...

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8 December 2016

Netherlands Trade Union Confederation sues Fifa over alleged complicity in the mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar

Author: The Guardian

A legal action against Fifa over its alleged complicity in the mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup has been filed with a Swiss court. The Netherlands Trade Union Confederation confirmed on Thursday that Fifa has been “summoned to appear in the commercial court in Zürich” in a case it has brought against the world governing body on behalf of the Bangladeshi migrant worker, Nadim Sharaful Alam. The Confederation also confirmed that the Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) and the Bangladesh Building and Wood Workers Federation (BBWWF) are also supporting the action. “The Swiss court is asked to rule that Fifa acted wrongfully by selecting Qatar for the World Cup 2022 without demanding the assurance that Qatar observes fundamental human and labour rights of migrant construction workers, including the abolition of the Kafala system,” read a statement from the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV)...Four months earlier, Federico Addiechi, Fifa’s head of sustainability, also released a statement in response to a critical report from Amnesty International in which he insisted the governing body “is fully committed to do its utmost to ensure that human rights are respected on all Fifa World Cup sites and operations and services directly related to the Fifa World Cup”...

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10 October 2016

Fifa threatened with lawsuit in Swiss courts for complicity in mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar

Author: Owen Gibson, Guardian (UK)

"Fifa faces legal challenge over Qatar migrant workers", 10 Oct 2016

Fifa is facing legal action in the Swiss courts over its alleged complicity in the mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup...Since Fifa voted in December 2010 to hold the World Cup in the tiny Gulf state, Qatar has faced intense criticism over the plight of an army of migrant workers...[T]he legal challenge, brought by the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) on behalf of a Bangladeshi migrant worker called Nadim Sharaful Alam, is the first time that Fifa has been made directly accountable in the Swiss courts.  In a letter sent to world football’s governing body...lawyers acting for FNV and Alam have given Fifa’s new president, Gianni Infantino, three weeks to accept its complicity and pay damages before going to court...[I]f the action is successful it could open the door for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers to make similar claims...[C]ritics including major NGOs and trade unions have argued that Fifa should do more to use its influence to push for improvement for workers on related infrastructure projects and for wider changes to the kafala system that has been compared to a form of modern slavery...Under the heading “wrongful acts committed by Fifa”, the summary of the writ says that “Swiss law, but also Qatari law and international law oblige Fifa to respect fundamental human rights and refrain from wrongdoing”...

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