"The government needs to ensure that the cutting-edge, high-tech stadiums it's planning to build for World Cup fans are not built on the backs of abused and exploited workers," Human Rights Watch Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said.
Problems faced by migrant workers in the Gulf state include exorbitant recruitment fees which can take years to pay off, routine confiscation of labourers' passports by employers and a restrictive sponsorship system that gives employers almost total control over their employees, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch said in a report.
The group cited Qatar as having one of the most restrictive sponsorship laws in the Gulf region. Migrant workers are unable to change jobs without their employer's permission and their sponsoring employer must sign an exit permit before they can leave the country.
Poor working conditions are common across the region where impoverished men and women from South Asia have come for decades to work on construction sites or oil projects, or as domestic help.
Welfare workers say the sponsorship system, in place across much of the Gulf, and the lack of a minimum wage allow migrant workers to be exploited.
In January, Qatar said World Cup organisers would ensure contractors adhered to international labour laws for workers employed in construction projects before the tournament.
Qatar has embarked on a huge building programme in the runup to the World Cup. It plans to spend $11 billion on a new international airport, $5.5 billion on a deepwater seaport and $1 billion for a transport corridor in the capital, Doha. It will spend $20 billion on roads.
The tiny Gulf state will build nine new stadiums and renovate three existing facilities.
Qatar, where summer temperatures top 45 degrees Celsius, was the surprise winner of a FIFA vote in 2010 to choose the 2022 host country. It plans to build solar-powered, air-conditioned stadiums to overcome the sweltering summer heat.