Amnesty calls on FIFA to pay $440m to compensate ‘abused’ migrant workers in Qatar
Qatar–Months ahead of the 2022 World Cup’s opening game in Qatar, human rights group Amnesty International has called on football’s governing body FIFA to earmark $440 million in compensation for migrant workers who reportedly suffered abuses during the preparations for the tournament in the Gulf nation.
With the support of several human rights organisations and fan groups, Amnesty has written an open letter to FIFA president Gianni Infantino, calling him to provide compensation for all abuses faced by migrant workers involved in the preparations of the tournament and ensure their protection in the Arab country as well as future tournaments. The compensation amount demanded by Amnesty is amounting to the total 2022 World Cup prize money.
Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary-General, also called out Qatar over its history of human rights abuses which was ignored by FIFA while awarding the tournament to the Gulf nation. “By turning a blind eye to foreseeable human rights abuses and failing to stop them, FIFA indisputably contributed to the widespread abuse of migrant workers involved in World Cup-related projects in Qatar, far beyond the stadiums and official hotels,” the official added.
Amnesty also pointed out that certain forms of abuses still persist in Qatar, describing $440 million as the “minimum necessary” to cater to their needs in terms of remedial initiatives.
Amnesty underlined that while it may be “too late” to erase the sufferings of the past abuses, it is the responsibility of FIFA and the Qatari authorities to provide redressal and prevent further abuses against migrant workers. “Abuses suffered by workers over the past decade on all projects needed for this World Cup, have largely remained unaddressed,” the rights group added.
Amnesty directed FIFA and Qatar to come together to work on a comprehensive remediation program to ensure that no harm caused to workers remains unaddressed. Beyond the tournament, Amnesty called on FIFA to ensure that abuses against migrant workers are not repeated in the country in future.
Rampant rights abuses
Over the past decade, thousands of migrant workers have been the targets of rigorous human rights abuses while they were employed in the construction of stadiums, hotels, and infrastructure facilities in Qatar in the roundup to the 2022 World Cup. As per reports, workers have faced a wide range of rights abuses including unpaid salaries, illegal and extortionate recruitment fees, and no compensation for injuries and deaths by the Qatari authorities.