Article

Amnesty International reveal Qatar ´abuses´

17 November 2013 22:06

Amnesty International have urged FIFA to address "human rights abuses" on construction projects ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In a report entitled 'The Dark Side of Migration: Spotlight on Qatar’s construction sector ahead of the World Cup', Amnesty have called for football's governing body to address worker conditions in the Asian nation.

Many migrant workers are involved in building projects for the event, with Amnesty stating they are often "treated like cattle", living in "squalid, overcrowded accommodation".

The 166-page report adds that many workers are prevented from leaving the country by their employers, leading some to "severe psychological distress", adding that "some are driven to the brink of suicide".

Fears over the state of working conditions in Qatar have been reported in recent months, with the charity's secretary general Salil Shetty stating that many issues could centre around projects integral to the staging of the competition.

Shetty called on FIFA to make a public stand against what it described as "an alarming level of exploitation" in the Qatari construction sector.

"FIFA has a duty to send a strong public message that it will not tolerate human rights abuses on construction projects related to the World Cup," he added in a statement.

"Many migrants arrive in Qatar full of hopes, only to have these crushed soon after they arrive. There’s no time to delay - the government must act now to end this abuse.

"Construction companies and the Qatari authorities alike are failing migrant workers. Employers in Qatar have displayed an appalling disregard for the basic human rights of migrant workers. Many are taking advantage of a permissive environment and lax enforcement of labour protections to exploit construction workers.

"The world’s spotlight will continue to shine on Qatar in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, offering the government a unique chance to demonstrate on a global stage that they are serious about their commitment to human rights and can act as a role model to the rest of the region."

The report also states that labour standards are often violated on construction sites with discrimination often occurring.

In a statement, the charity explained: "Amnesty researchers heard a manager of one construction firm referring to the workers as 'the animals'.

"Some workers interviewed by Amnesty were living in fear of losing everything, threatened with penalty fines, deportation or loss of income if they did not show up to work even though they were not being paid."

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