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Amnesty International calls on FIFA to publish review of Qatar migrant workers’ compensation

FIFA is currently considering awarding hosting rights for the 2030 and 2034 men’s World Cup tournaments.

Screenshot 2024 05 10 082401FIFA should immediately publish and act on a review it received five months ago assessing its human rights responsibilities towards workers harmed delivering the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar, Amnesty International said on Thursday.

The human rights organisation, according to The Guardian, has called on FiFA to finally publish the report by Michael Llamas, president of the Gibraltar Football Association, before its congress in Bangkok next week. According to those familiar with the process, the Llamas report has found FiFA has a responsibility to provide financial remedy to workers or the families of workers involved in 2022 World Cup projects in Qatar and that its conclusions were approved by the executive FiFA council in March. The Guardian said it understands the report is under review by FIFA stakeholders but that the governing body remains committed to its publication.

“Ahead of its annual congress next week FIFA should make public the review it ordered into the organization’s responsibilities to redress human rights abuses related to the 2022 World Cup and respond positively and rapidly to its recommendations. FIFA received this review months ago but has yet to disclose or act on its findings,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Labour Rights and Sport.

“The contents of the report may make uncomfortable reading for FIFA but there is overwhelming public support for it to act and no excuse for stalling any longer. A commitment to remedying the abuses related to the last World Cup would be a vital step towards FIFA finally fulfilling its human rights responsibilities and could be life-changing for workers and their families,” he added.

Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers suffered grievously while working to deliver the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Extreme heat and unsafe working conditions also led to many workers losing their lives, with the Qatari authorities failing to investigate the deaths of thousands of workers across the country in the decade leading up to the tournament.

Other workers paid extortionate recruitment fees for jobs but were later cheated out of the money they were promised and endured appalling working conditions or other abuses including forced labour. The situation has left many financially and emotionally shattered and unable to rebuild their lives.

By awarding the tournament to Qatar in 2010, without first ensuring sufficient safeguards were in place to protect human rights, FIFA contributed to more than a decade of abuses which have not been remedied. In recent years FIFA has made reforms to its statutes and guidelines to better acknowledge its human rights obligations but serious doubts remain about its commitment to uphold them, Amnesty International said.

FIFA is currently considering awarding hosting rights for the 2030 and 2034 men’s World Cup tournaments. A joint bid from Spain, Portugal and Morocco is the only one submitted for 2030, and Saudi Arabia is the sole bidder for 2034.

“FIFA cannot simply move on to other tournaments leaving suffering in its wake, not least when the opportunity to finally put things right is within its grasp. It is past time for FIFA to publish the review, fully address abuses related to the last World Cup and finally deliver for the workers who made the tournament possible,” said Steve Cockburn.

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