Amnesty report reveals the ugly side of the beautiful game in Qatar

19 April 2016 09:38

The report finds evidence of a number of issues that the BWI has also raised previously– such as false promises of wages and type of work stipulated in their employment contracts, confiscation of passports, and exploitive working conditions where workers are threatened should they choose to complain. Many workers have also been forced to take out huge loans to pay for exorbitant recruitment fees.

Many of the stories expressed by migrant workers in the report are similar to those that workers told BWI representatives during several missions to Qatar.

“My life here is like a prison. The work is difficult, we worked for many hours in the hot sun. When I first complained about my situation, soon after arriving in Qatar, the manager said ‘if you complain you can but there will be consequences. If you want to stay in Qatar be quiet and keep working’. Now I am forced to stay in Qatar and continue working,” said one of the workers interviewed in the report.

The BWI has previously been in contact with workers who have been exploited at the construction of the Khalifa Stadium and urge the Qatari government and all main contractors to take their responsibility and allow for independent trade union inspectors to gain access to the site.

The report among other things recommends Qatari authorities to fundamentally reform the kafala/sponsorship-system and adopt regulations that set out the safeguards which a labour supply company must have in place before sponsoring any migrant workers.

The main contractor on any World Cup should also have to identify all workers on site and the companies they work for. It also recommends for FIFA to carry out independent regular inspections of labour conditions in Qatar and for the government to establish a mechanism for workers to enforce their right to obtain their passport at any time.