Global learnings on decent work in mega sports events

10 September 2018 12:00


At an event organized by the Institute for Human Rights and Business in Tokyo on 10 September, BWI’s general secretary Ambet Yuson highlighted some of the knowledge learned from the BWI’s Sports-Migration nexus campaign to strengthen the rights of workers in mega-sports events.  Yuson described the best practices in promoting decent work through social dialogue.

“The number of migrant workers in the Japanese construction industry almost tripled from 2014 to 2017, mainly through the traineeship programme”, said Yuson. “With an aging construction workforce and less Japanese workers entering the construction industry, it’s important to consider how best to leverage social dialogue at all levels to promote decent work for all workers including migrant workers.”

BWI’s work in Qatar has included constructive engagement with government agencies, construction companies, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), the entity responsible for the construction of the 2022 World Cup stadiums. A programme of joint inspections of stadium and accommodation facilities are resulting in substantive changes in ensuring health and safety.

Most recently, the government of Qatar announced a decision to end the requirement for exit permits form its employers.

At the same time, Yuson highlighted how worker engagement is being achieved through the joint cooperation of country-of-origin union affiliates from Nepal, India and the Philippines is strengthening migrant worker communities in Qatar.

A recent BWI report about the conditions of workers on the 2018 Russia World Cup construction projects that highlighted serious violations of workers' rights, including dangerous working conditions and minimum wage violations. Stakeholders in mega sports events must be vigilant about risks and take active precautions to ensure decent work.“It remains critical that workers’ voices, not just construction workers but those throughout the supply chain, are heard in the management of a mega-sports event,” continued Yuson. “Our engagement has shown that workers can be agents of positive change in promoting decent work in mega sports events.”