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The FIFA World Cup in Qatar and exploitation of migrant workers: new report



A new International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) multimedia report uncovers the human cost of the huge migrant labour force in the Gulf States of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.


The report entitled Hidden faces of the Gulf miracle was commissioned by ITUC in order to draw attention to the issue of exploitation of migrant workers within the framework of the Qatar 2022 World CUP. The aim is to increase awareness of the organizers and to enhance the conditions for migrant workers in Qatar. Migrant workers in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) form the majority of the population. The report also illustrates the poor working and living conditions of these individuals that are mainly from India, Pakistan and Nepal.


According to the report the economy of Qatar and also the UAE is based on the labour exploitation of migrant workers. "Just 6% of the working population of Qatar is Qatari - their economy and their ability to deliver the World Cup is totally dependent on severe exploitation of migrant labour, which we believe to be barely above forced labour conditions," said Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the Building Workers International (BWI).


As Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, for which 12 stadiums are expected to be built over the next ten years, the report is addressing the issue of forced labour within the construction sector in Qatar and UAE. "A huge migrant labour force, with very little rights, no access to any unions, very unsafe practices, and inhuman living conditions will be literally putting their lives on the line to deliver the 2022 World Cup," Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation said during the launch of this report in Brussels.


As outlined in the report, FIFA requires football manufacturers to respect workers' rights in its licensing programme, but has no such standards for companies building World Cup venues. Therefore ITUC appeals to FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Qatar's FIFA delegate, construction magnate Mohamed bin Hammam, urging the organization to protect the hundreds of thousands of workers on construction sites provided for the World Cup.


Please find the report Hidden faces of the Gulf miracle in the UN.GIFT Resource Center.