Author Topic: Qatar told to respect rights of workers building 2022 World Cup stadiums  (Read 1785 times)

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Offline mayya

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Qatar told to respect rights of workers building 2022 World Cup stadiums

• Fifpro 'deeply alarmed by reports of exploitation'
• Players association says 'football must act'

 Guardian staff, Friday 27 September 2013 10.40 BST

Locals dance outside the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, one of the 2022 World Cup venues. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Qatar has been told it must respect the rights of workers building the 2022 World Cup stadiums by the world professional footballers' association, Fifpro.

The association has spoken out following a Guardian exposé of the exploitation of immigrant workers employed in the construction of the venues.

"The 2022 Fifa World Cup was awarded to Qatar to promote football and, more importantly, football's universal values in the Middle East. This can only be achieved if Qatar respects the rights of the key people who will deliver that World Cup: the workers who build the World Cup stadia and the players who play in them," Brendan Schwab, Division Asia chairman of Fifpro, said.

The association added: "Fifpro is deeply alarmed by reports of the brutal exploitation of migrant workers by construction companies in Qatar who are involved in building the stadia that Fifpro members will be expected to play in.

"Reports suggest that workers have been denied access to free drinking water in extreme heat, have been unpaid for months and have had their passports confiscated to prevent them from leaving the country. It is even reported that systematic forced labour has been adopted.

"As a consequence, there are reports of many workplace fatalities including the death of 32 Nepalese workers in July alone."

Schwab said: "If these reports are true, then football must act. It is inexcusable for workers' lives to be sacrificed, especially given modern health and safety practices in the construction industry."

"Fifpro assumes that adherence to Fifa's principles and international labour standards are conditions on which Qatar was awarded the extraordinary privilege of hosting football's greatest event.

"Fifa has previously acted to ensure international labour standards are respected when it worked with the International Labour Organisation in the fight against child labour in the manufacture of footballs. A similar initiative is urgently needed in Qatar.

"Further, independent workplace health and safety experts appointed by Fifa and the ILO must be permitted to inspect all worksites and make binding recommendations to ensure international labour standards are respected in Qatar."