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Qatar workers suffering abuse – Amnesty

Migrant workers are being abused in building a stadium for the 2022 World Cup, according to an Amnesty International report.

The report criticises FIFA for its treatment of workers building the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

A total of 132 construction workers and 99 landscapers were interviewed by Amnesty for the report, which revealed that each claimed to have been abused.

“The abuse of migrant workers is a stain on the conscience of world football,” Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty said.

“For players and fans, a World Cup stadium is a place of dreams. For some of the workers who spoke to us, it can feel like a living nightmare.

“Despite five years of promises, FIFA has failed almost completely to stop the World Cup being built on human rights abuses.”

Amnesty called on major World Cup sponsors to put pressure on FIFA in regards to worker exploitation.

In a response, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) described the report as unfair.

“[The SC] is committed to ensuring the health, safety and well-being of every worker on World Cup projects,” a statement read.

“We have maintained a constructive working relationship with labour organisations, including Amnesty International, to achieve these goals.

“However, the tone of Amnesty International’s latest assertions paint a misleading picture and do nothing to contribute to our efforts.

“Amnesty International’s investigation was limited to just four companies out of more than 40 currently engaged on Khalifa International Stadium – Eversendai, Seven Hills, Blue Bay and Nakheel Landscapes.

“The conditions reported were not representative of the entire work force on Khalifa. 

“We acknowledge that Amnesty identified challenges in worker conditions existing during early 2015.

“But as the result of the Supreme Committee’s continued enforcement and monitoring efforts, many of the issues raised had been addressed by June of 2015, months before the publication of Amnesty’s report.”

The SC said Nakheel Landscapes had “undergone a comprehensive rectification process”, while Eversendai had been banned from subsequent World Cup projects.

It said Seven Hills and Blue Bay have not worked on World Cup projects since June 2015 and were no longer eligible to do so on future projects until standards were met.

Thu 31 Mar, 2016
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