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Qatar under fire again over treatment of World Cup workers

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By Euronews
Qatar under fire again over treatment of World Cup workers

Qatar has come under fire again over the treatment of World Cup workers, alleging systematic abuses including forced labour.

Amnesty International’s published a report claims that dozens of people from Nepal and India have been housed in squalid accommodation.

It also says that workers have been barred from leaving the country by employers who have confiscated their passports.

All of this comes two years after the organisers of the 2022 tournament apparently drafted welfare standards in the wake of criticism.

Amnesty is calling on FIFA to act.

FIFA can do a lot and FIFA has a responsibility. This is its major business – awarding the World Cup,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues and Research at Amnesty International.

“As part of its major business, it has awarded the World Cup to a country where migrant workers are subjected to systemic abuse of their labour rights. As such, it has to act given that those workers are going to be at risk of abuse on World Cup contracts.”

Amnesty said it interviewed 132 workers involved in the rebuilding of the Khalifa stadium, a vast sporting complex in Doha that is part of the multi-billion euro construction boom in the gas-rich Gulf state and will host a World Cup quarter-final.

Swiss-based FIFA said in a statement that it would urge government authorities in Qatar to take action and ensure newly-drafted labour standards became a benchmark for construction projects in Qatar.

The head of Qatar’s 2022 committee says Amnesty has highlighted “malpractices” faced by some workers. Hassan Al Thawadi added that Doha was “resolving gaps day by day” and described the World Cup as a “catalyst for change.”