2022 World Cup leaders outline rights for workers

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm •  Published: February 11, 2014
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Qatar sought to allay widespread concerns about conditions for migrant workers on World Cup building projects by detailing Tuesday how their rights must be protected by contractors.

Rights group Amnesty International called the charter a "positive, if partial" step. But the International Trade Union Confederation called it a "sham," and complained 2022 World Cup leaders have not demanded changes in Qatar's labor laws despite mounting criticism from rights groups.

FIFA, which ordered the report, said the charter showed "concrete steps" were being taken to accelerate the introduction of "adequate uniform" conditions for workers building venues for the Middle East's first World Cup.

Qatar's 50-page document fleshes out the basic welfare obligations that were published last year. It includes requirements for employment contracts, payment, medical care and living conditions, including the meals and bedrooms that must be provided. Employers must also allow workers to retain their passports.

"In our experience enforcement (of the standards) is almost always the stumbling block," Amnesty researcher James Lynch said in a statement.

Lynch stressed that only a "relatively small proportion" of workers are covered by the charter. Only companies building World Cup venues must abide by it, rather than those with government contracts for the wider infrastructure projects that are required to handle an influx of players, fans and media.

Just 38 construction workers are currently employed by World Cup organizers, building the Al Wakrah Stadium south of the capital Doha. The labor force will rapidly rise as a dozen stadiums and training camps for the 32 competing teams are built from scratch or renovated.

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