A Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) delegation met this week with FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura who was appointed by the FIFA Council at the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico. Representing BWI were: Ambet Yuson, General Secretary; Johan Lindholm Byggnads, Sweden; Dietmar Schaefers, IG BAU, Germany; Pierre Cuppens, ACV-CSC, Belgium; Steinar Krogstad, Fellesforbundet, Norway; Gail Cartmail and Jim Kennedy, UNITE; UK.
BWI Deputy President Dietmar Schaefer said, “the meeting with FIFA General Secretary was encouraging. We have raised FIFA’s responsibility in ensuring workers’ rights in the construction of world cup stadiums and other facilities. The delegation pushed the need to include international labour standards in the bidding process of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Tournaments. Today’s meeting with Ms. Samoura was the latest chapter of a credible, ongoing exchange.”
BWI worked with FIFA on the development and implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Concerning the 2022 Games in Qatar, BWI negotiated separately an agreement with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC).
These two developments are complementary initiatives designed to ensure that human rights and labour rights are central in decisions related to World Cup games and other mega-sporting events. Both agreements include monitoring and inspections.
In addition, the BWI delegation and Ms. Samoura also reviewed the establishment of the FIFA Advisory Board on Human Rights. Yuson is a member of this independent board. It is intended to address a full range of human rights issues including human rights of workers. It ensures that regular examination of and debate on those issues will continue on an on-going basis.