Swiss NCP Commends BWI-FIFA productive dialogue on Qatar

Representatives of BWI delivering the complaint to the Swiss NCP

On 5 June 2018, the Swiss National Compact Point (NCP) responsible for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises concluded its follow-up on the BWI complaint against FIFA that focused on the 2020 World Cup Games in Qatar. 

In May of 2017, the NCP announced the outcome of the case. At that time, BWI welcomed the involvement of the Swiss NCP and their efforts to mediate the dispute and generate quality dialogue between FIFA and BWI. 

BWI, although positive on the decision, qualified it by saying that the real test of success would be determined by action on the ground rather than words. At the time, Dietmar Schaefer, Deputy President for BWI and Chair of the BWI Ad Hoc Working Group on Sports Campaign, stated:

“It is important that the Swiss NCP was able to improve the quality of dialogue between FIFA and BWI. There is still much progress to be made in the respect for the human rights of migrant construction workers in Qatar, so we are also pleased to see that the NCP will review progress within nine months and seek to facilitate agreement on any further steps, if necessary, on due diligence and to stimulate further movement on the ground.”

At the time that the NCP announced its conclusions, BWI and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) had signed a memorandum of understanding, but joint inspections had not taken place. FIFA had announced that it would create a small Advisory Board on Human Rights to follow-up on Professor Ruggie’s recommendations based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. And, the ILO was looking at separate, but related human rights issues. 

In reacting to today’s NCP announcement that the review of progress in the case has been concluded, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said, “We would like to thank the Swiss National Compact Point for having accomplished its mission in this case. It helped to stimulate quality dialogue and cooperation both with FIFA and the Qatar authorities far beyond what we could have anticipated at the time we submitted the case to the NCP.”

Yuson went on to say, “We have good and serious cooperation on occupational safety and health and other issues with the SC Qatari authorities. They are also engaged in aligning their labour laws and practices with ILO standards. Further improvement on respect of the human rights of migrant construction workers in Qatar is needed and will take place, but there is already positive movement and a shared vision in many areas. And, where there is vision, there is hope”. 

The Swiss NCP Follow-Up Statement can be read here.