World Cup - Qatar World Cup will be 'crucible of exploitation'

A leading human rights group has predicted that the organisation for the 2022 World Cup will lead to "a crucible of exploitation and misery," for migrant workers.

Reuters
World Cup - Qatar to spend staggering £134 billion on World Cup
.

View photo

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani (L) holds up a copy of the World Cup he received from FIFA President Sepp Blatter

Qatar, where summer temperatures top 45 degrees Celsius, was the surprise winner of a FIFA vote in 2010 to choose the 2022 host country.

A report from campaigning organisation Human Rights Watch will detail the problems faced by migrant workers in the Gulf state which 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.

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.

"Qatar has some of the most restrictive sponsorship laws in the Gulf region and forced labour and human trafficking are serious problems," the HRW World Report will state according the Guardian.

"The government has failed to address shortcomings in the legal and regulatory framework despite the initiation of many large-scale projects for Qatar's 2022 World Cup."

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.

There are estimated to be 1.2 million migrant workers in Qatar which makes up around 88 per cent of the country's total population.

Qatar has embarked on a huge building programme in the runup to the World Cup. It plans to spend £7 billion on a new international airport, £3.5 billion on a deepwater seaport and £635 million for a transport corridor in the capital, Doha. It will spend £12.68 billion on roads.

The tiny Gulf state will build nine new stadiums and renovate three existing facilities.

It plans to build solar-powered, air-conditioned stadiums to overcome the sweltering summer heat.

View Comments