Latest modern slavery fight updates -

U.S. official warns of worker exploitation during Qatar World Cup

  • Published on
    October 3, 2022
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Forced Labor
Hero Banner

Uzra Zeya, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights has raised concerns this week over the risk of exploitation facing migrant  workers in Qatar. 

“The World Cup presents a challenge in terms of the increased likelihood or possibilities to exploit vulnerable migrant workers and it’s all the more important to enforce the laws in place and to see more efforts to prosecute perpetrators of human trafficking,” she said.

Reforms alone aren’t enough

In 2020, the Emir of Qatar abolished restrictions on migrant workers changing jobs without their employer’s permission and introduced a monthly minimum wage of 1,000 Qatari riyal, in addition to giving basic living allowances for some workers. Previously, migrant workers required a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from their employer to demonstrate they had their employers’ permission to change jobs. Furthermore, a Wage Protection System was announced to ensure migrant workers’ are receiving their wages from employers.

Though Qatar has passed a host of reforms over the past few years, implementation has been lacking with migrant workers continuing to report exploitation. Zeya said, ”If fully implemented, they would really represent Qatar assuming a great leadership role regionally,”

Reuters reports:

Qatar has made “significant efforts” towards combating human trafficking but does not meet the U.S. government’s minimum requirements for the elimination of human trafficking, according to the State Department’s 2022 Trafficking in Persons report.

The human cost of the World Cup

Thousands of migrant workers involved in construction, hospitality and other key areas of infrastructure required for the World Cup to take place in Qatar have suffered abuses amounting forced labor, including debt bondage, wage theft, being prevented from changing employers, forced to work excessive hours, and having identity documents withheld by unscrupulous employers.

But it’s not just Qatari authorities who have a responsibility to ensure migrant workers are protected from exploitation.

Compensation for workers now!

As the world’s football governing body that stands to make billions of dollars from this tournament, FIFA has an important role to play in compensating workers for the conditions they have been forced to endure.

That’s why we’re calling on FIFA to set aside at least $440 million – equivalent to the prize money for teams participating in the tournament – for the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who have suffered human rights abuses over the course of the past twelve years in preparation for the World Cup.

Send a message to national Football Associations today to ask them to support the #PayUpFIFA campaign!


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Despite global pressure, cobalt mining still tainted by forced child labor

Cobalt is a mineral mined mostly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is critical to the battery technology used in things like electric vehicles and cell phones. But dubious ethics and exploitative labor practices, particularly the use of child labor, continue to haunt the sector according to an article in Wards 100. More must be done to keep children safe. Children working like Gold Rush miners Despite efforts to find a replacement for this

| Tuesday July 16, 2024

Read more