The Human Rights Watch Organization pointed out that the FIFA and Qatar They must compensate the migrant workers for the human and labor rights abuses they suffered while building the necessary infrastructures -such as stadiums- for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, on the eve of the start of the event.
In a statement, HRW reported that it has produced a six-minute video with testimonies from various workers, family members and fans from Nepal, one of the countries from which many of the migrant workers in Qatar came, where explain their experience during the last twelve years in the Arab countryand how the lack of adequate compensation affects them.
The note, titled “Workers and families raise their voices as the World Cup approaches,” highlights various abuses ranging from “wage theft and injuries” to “thousands of unexplained deaths.”
“Many workers, their families and communities cannot fully celebrate what they have built and are asking that FIFA and Qatar address the abuses that have left families and communities destitute and struggling,” said HRW senior researcher Rothna Begum, according to the note.
“They were indispensable in making the 2022 World Cup possible, but it has come at a great cost for many of them and for their families who not only made personal sacrifices, but also also faced widespread wage theft, injuries and thousands of unexplained deathsBegum stressed.
Some of the workers who give their testimony in the video have left Qatar and others are still in the country, so have changed their name for fear of retaliation.
In one of the richest countries in the world, migrant workers lived in conditions of poverty in overcrowded accommodation, despite building state-of-the-art multi-billion dollar infrastructure,” the statement said.
“Most low-paid migrant workers paid to build Qatar 2022 (…) even with Qatar’s advanced health system, families in Asia and Africa did not know what killed their loved ones in Qatar,” he added.
The organization’s note acknowledges the reforms introduced by Qatar to protect and compensate workers or eliminate restrictions such as the “Kafala” system, or sponsorship that prevented workers from leaving the country or changing jobs without the approval of their employers, who also withhold wages.
It also highlights that the International Labor Organization (ILO) stated that Qtie has reimbursed 320 million dollars to victims of wage abuse through the Workers’ Insurance and Support Fund.
However, it denounces the fact that this fund “began to function only in 2020”, for which reason “the journey of many ended abruptly with unpaid wages for physically demanding jobs in extreme heat conditions.”
“Many migrant workers did not benefit” for the reforms “either because they were introduced late” or because “their scope has been too limited (…) those who were forgotten need economic compensation”, HRW insisted. (EFE)