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Qatar World Cup Parallel Portal

In November 2022 Qatar will become the first country in the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup, an international sporting event which capitalises on the premise of bringing people and cultures together. But behind sanitised images celebrating global diversity, serious human rights concerns remain, particularly in relation to the treatment of the two million migrant workers who live and work in Qatar under the effective control of their employers.

Migrant workers from East Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia comprise 95% of the workforce in Qatar and are integral to the delivery of the World Cup. Allegations include claims thousands of workers have died due to health and safety failures, workers being trapped in jobs, the charging of recruitment fees, non-payment of wages, racial discrimination and cases of modern slavery.

Our World Cup Parallel Portal shines a light on the reality for workers behind the flashy football news and glossy promotional façade in official materials.

It brings together relevant information on human rights issues and allegations linked to World Cup-related projects (stadiums, hotels, infrastructure, etc.), contractors, sponsors and national football associations. Activists, civil society and the media can use the Portal to understand the human rights impacts and business interests associated with the Qatar World Cup tournament. The Portal maps the businesses involved in the preparation for the World Cup –from the construction companies that built the infrastructure to the hotels and leisure facilities that will host fans, as well as the sponsors and partners providing services to the tournament.

“When Qatar won its bid for the FIFA World Cup 2022, the international community was presented with a rare opportunity to push for lasting change in a region where it is desperately needed. Stakeholders, including brands and companies set to benefit, football associations and sponsors, must use their leverage to ensure the tournament leaves a positive legacy for workers’ rights in the country through full and effective implementation of the labour reforms and access to remedies for workers who have suffered abuses.”
- Isobel Archer, Gulf Programme Manager, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre


Who is set to profit from the World Cup?

FIFA & Qatar World Cup 2022 sponsors

Association with the world’s greatest sporting event is lucrative and has attracted high-profile international brands. We have been tracking sponsors' actions and engagement with human rights in the run-up to kick-off.

Football associations

National football associations will play the central role at the Qatar 2022 World Cup and consequently have considerable power and influence to affect change in the country.

Qatar's hotels

In anticipation of the estimated one million visitors, Qatar’s hotels have been ramping up recruitment – yet have failed to address abusive recruitment practices which have left migrant workers struggling.


Human rights abuses linked to the World Cup

The below tool is designed to increase transparency on the human rights records of World Cup-related projects and the companies involved in them.

Below you can search for human rights allegations linked to World Cup projects, stadiums and hotels where football teams are staying during the tournament. You can also search for allegations made against specific companies involved in delivering the tournament.

Click the 'View all stadiums' button to view allegations of abuse linked to the construction of World Cup stadiums.

Click the 'Hotel brand' dropdown to view the human rights policies and disclosure of Qatar's luxury World Cup hotels -- as well as any human rights concerns linked to them.


Detained for speaking up for migrant workers' rights in Qatar

Malcolm Bidali

Having blogged about his work as a security guard on high-profile projects, Kenyan human rights activist Malcolm Bidali was detained in May 2021, kept in solitary confinement and charged with spreading disinformation on Qatar having been paid by a "foreign agent". He was released after he paid a fine and disabled his social media accounts.

Norwegian journalists reporting on conditions of migrant workers arrested

Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani were arrested in November 2021 for "trespassing on private property and filming without a permit". Their equipment was confiscated. Subsequently, the Danish union of journalists issued a statement advising against travel to Qatar.

Abdullah Ibhais

In 2019, ex-Supreme Committee employee Abdullah Ibhais was charged with bribery, accusations Abdullah maintains are retaliation for his pushback on the way the Supreme Committee handled a case of unpaid and striking workers who were deployed to World Cup stadium sites.


Useful resources

Shutterstock (purchased)

The truth behind Qatar’s luxury hotels hosting World Cup teams

Qatar built over 100 new hotels to host teams, fans and sponsors during the World Cup. Aside from the well-documented risks to construction workers who built these hotels, our data shows workers in luxury hotels face abuses.

BHRRC

Infographics: Migrant workers' rights in Qatar

Migrant workers across Qatar continue to suffer exploitation at the hands of employer. These infographics break down what labour abuse looks like for the millions of migrant workers employed by the private sector in Qatar.

What did it take to build the Qatar World Cup stadiums?

Although labour standards for the stadiums are stronger than for the general workforce in Qatar, cases of abuse came to light throughout 2022 linked to World Cup stadiums.

Dan Tiego, Shutterstock (purchased)

Allegations of labour abuse against migrant workers in Qatar

Our database tracks publicly reported allegations of labour rights abuse against migrant workers in Qatar, in which businesses are implicated. However, due to the restrictive reporting environment, these figures are likely to be an undercount.


Explore the data by abuse, sector and construction project


Register for Updates

If you're a journalist working on coverage relating to the Qatar World Cup, we can keep you updated with the latest developments. Please fill out the form below to receive regular updates from us before and during the tournament.

By submitting this form you agree that Business & Human Rights Resource Centre can use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you via Email in accordance with our Data Use Policy.