Fifa must address abuse of 2022 World Cup workers in Qatar, Amnesty says - Middle East - World - The Independent

Fifa must address abuse of 2022 World Cup workers in Qatar, Amnesty says

 

Fifa, international football’s governing body, must urgently address Qatar’s exploitation of migrant workers that has become “routine and widespread”, a new report warns.

Amnesty International has confirmed accounts of thousands of migrants trapped inside labour camps having been “deceived” into joining the country’s construction frenzy ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

The report depicts as many as 503,513 foreign workers, many of whom remain in “deplorable conditions” subject to shifts of up to 18 hours a day. Companies operating inside the Arab state are free to set their terms at will, capitalising on Qatar’s “kafala” system, making the workers beholden to employers who sponsor their visas. This, the report says, is responsible for propagating a culture that is “rife with abuse”.

Thomas Matthew, 59, from Chennai, India, who worked in Qatar from 2007 until March this year, says the World Cup has changed the dynamic of the country. “For the first five years, there were good conditions,” he told The Independent. “But in 2012 something changed. It became horrible. I stopped getting paid; we were moved to a new villa where there were eight people in a room. Soon there was no electricity and by February there was no food. The sewage system soon stopped working.”

In March this year Mr Thomas claims he was ejected from the country. “My visa was cancelled and I was told to go home. We’ve been told our salary is coming. We have had nothing for more than a year. Now as a family we are suffering a lot. I have three children and am staying in a rented house. I have borrowed so much money from my brother and friends but time is running out. I have to pay them back.”

His testimonial is similar to many, Amnesty says, that have been lured to Doha on false pretences from regions including Nepal, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“At the recruitment stage before an individual starts work… people are given false information about the jobs and salaries,” the report says. “Once in Qatar, the sponsorship system and the fact that many migrants have incurred debt to migrate makes it very difficult for migrants to challenge the deception.”

Fifa has been dogged by criticism ever since it chose Qatar to hold the World Cup while the organisers of the event, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, agreed to investigate complaints of those working in the country. The Amnesty report warns: “It is not enough to wait until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is over before Fifa turns its attention to the human-rights risks associated with the staging of the World Cup construction work in Qatar.

“In fact, Fifa must engage closely with Q22 and the Qatari authorities to ensure that these issues are addressed as a matter of urgency. Preventing these abuses cannot wait. Fifa must send a strong message to the Qatari authorities and the construction sector that human rights must be respected in all World Cup-related construction projects.”

Amnesty International’s secretary general Salil Shetty said: “ Our findings indicate an alarming level of exploitation in the construction sector in Qatar. Employers have displayed an appalling disregard for the basic human rights of migrant workers. Many are taking advantage of a permissive environment and lax enforcement of labour protections to exploit construction workers.”

A spokeswoman for Fifa said last night: “Fifa has been informed by the Qatari authorities that the labour laws and labour system will be amended, a process which has already started. Special attention will be paid to the different inspections that are necessary, the government inspectors will receive more powers to enforce the labour legislation.”

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week