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Migrant worker exploitation in Qatar still needs to be called out

  • Published on
    December 18, 2022
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  • Category:
    Forced Labor
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The 2022 FIFA world cup tournament has ended and we are disappointed that FIFA has not announced a dedicated compensation fund for exploited migrant workers who made the tournament happen. The 2022 World Cup has been mired in controversy from the beginning and questions regarding remedy for human rights abuses remain unanswered.

While those who have been calling on FIFA and Qatar to do more to compensate migrant workers and the families of those who have died have been critiqued for not looking closer to home, it is vital that migrant workers in Qatar see justice. We’re not giving up. With fewer eyes on Qatar after the World Cup ends, we must keep loudly demanding justice for migrant workers.

Can the U.K. critique Qatar?

Zak Garner-Purkis at Forbes explores whether the U.K.’s critiques of modern slavery allegations in Qatar hold weight given the U.K.’s own modern slavery problem: 

In April of this year, Britain’s Anti-Slavery Commissioner released a report about the “risks and drivers of labor exploitation in the construction sector.”

The document analyses a single successful Metropolitan Police investigation, Operation Cardinas, which took down an organized crime group whose slaves had worked in the supply chains of major construction projects in London and southeast England for close to 10 years.

There also remains a strong anti-immigration sentiment perpetuated by the U.K. government which Purkis believes does nothing to prevent modern slavery and ensure people have access to the support they need. Red tape around work permits coupled with a considerable workforce deficit in the construction industry serve only to empower those who seek to exploit others. 

We must keep up the pressure on Qatar

It’s been encouraging to see the world’s attention turn to the conditions of migrant workers in Qatar as a result of the World Cup. The Freedom United community has been urgently calling on Qatari authorities and FIFA to commit to protecting migrant workers from exploitation and remedy human rights abuses endured as a result of the tournament.

We know that modern slavery occurs all over the world, but that shouldn’t let Qatar and FIFA off the hook. We have to keep the momentum for justice going.

What next for migrant workers in Qatar?

Today, many migrant workers in Qatar are faced with a difficult choice. Return to their countries of origin where employment opportunities are scarce, or remain in Qatar under harsh working conditions. Keep the momentum for justice going by signing the petition today.


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