A human rights organization: World Cup stadium workers “stole their money and destroyed their lives” | Qatar

Migrant workers who built stadiums for world Cup In Qatar they have been subjected to “persistent and widespread violations of workers’ rights,” including discrimination on the basis of nationality, illegal hiring practices and, in some cases, non-payment of wages, according to allegations in a new report by human rights group Equidem.

While the report also documents a number of good practice cases, including “appropriate channels for reporting concerns about working conditions,” good access to health care, sick safety measures and decent living conditions, Equidem’s findings conclude that Qatar It was a “hostile environment” for the stadium workers.

She claims that many workers interviewed for her report faced severe exploitation and were forced to work in a culture of fear and retaliation, “which persists through sexual discrimination and violence in the workplace, including physical, verbal and mental abuse.”

Equidem also claims that companies building stadiums have “actively evaded inspections,” citing a Nepalese worker working at Lusail Stadium, which will host the World Cup final, who told researchers that workers were sent to their camps ahead of a visit from FIFA.

The workers began to go into hiding for a chance to file a complaint with the FIFA group. Then the company started checking if anyone was still on the site. “If anyone is caught in hiding, they will either be sent home or their salary will be deducted,” he said in the report.

unpaid wagesNon-payment of overtime or severance pay and less than promised wages were also reported. “I don’t get paid for overtime, and I work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week,” a Bangladeshi worker who works in a number of stadiums told researchers.

In 2014, the World Cup Local Organizing Committee established a group of “Workers Welfare StandardsTo protect workers on its projects, including improving worker accommodation, complaints mechanisms, and a scheme to compensate worker recruitment fees. About £20 million has been paid off so far.

In recent years, the Qatari authorities have also introduced a number of Work repairsespecially the introduction of a minimum wage and Warranty Cancellationor the care system.

However, the Equidem report notes that there are significant shortcomings in implementing these measures.

“The fact that such widespread labor abuses persist in workplaces that are largely regulated by Qatar, FIFA and their partners, suggests that the reforms undertaken over the past five years have served as a cover for powerful companies seeking to exploit migrant workers with impunity. of punishment.” said the report.

The report called on FIFA to establish a compensation fund for workers who suffered during the construction of stadiums.

We estimate that thousands of workers are entitled to redress for illegal recruitment fees, unpaid wages, and other damages. “Qatar, FIFA and their partners will earn billions from this tournament, but the workers who built the stadiums have had their money stolen and their lives destroyed,” said Mustafa Qadri, CEO of Equidem. “FIFA can no longer turn a blind eye and must immediately set up a compensation fund.”

In a statement, a FIFA spokesperson said the measures taken to protect the health and well-being of World Cup workers, which include regular independent inspections, on-site occupational health and safety measures, comprehensive medical examinations and projects to address health and Covid-19, have been an important priority.

“The strength of this program has been repeatedly recognized by experts and trade unions over the years, reaching the highest international standards in terms of health and safety. We are in contact with our Qatari counterparts to assess the information contained in the Equidem report,” FIFA said.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee, which organizes the tournament, did not respond to a request for comment.

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