Qatar 2022: Recruiters accused of deception and corruption after Amnesty International investigation

Qatar 2022: Recruiters accused of deception and corruption after Amnesty International investigation

Migrant workers who are helping build the flagship stadium for the 2022 Qatar World Cup have been subject to an investigation by Amnesty International which concluded they “[appeared] to have been subjected to forced labour.”

It also highlighted candidates paying thousands for a job, and deceit over the type of work and pay on offer for certain positions.

Amnesty International says workers at Khalifa International Stadium are forced to pay huge recruitment fees (up to £3,000), live in foul conditions and have had wages withheld and passports confiscated.

It is claimed the payments were made to agencies in their respective home countries, with loans sometimes taken out to meet the required amount. The practice is forbidden by Qatari law.

Upon the commencement of employment, the pay was half as much as they were promised.

The report concluded that, while there had been a focus on worker accommodation by some companies, the other issues had not been addressed.

“The abuse of migrant workers is a stain on the conscience of world football. 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”, said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Director General.

Fifa said it had been meeting groups such as Amnesty International since 2011 to discuss "consistent and sustained implementation of fair working conditions" on World Cup sites.

“This is an ongoing process. Challenges remain, but Fifa is confident that the structures and processes set-up so far by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is the entity responsible for the delivery of Fifa World Cup infrastructure, provide a good basis to monitor labour rights of migrant workers", they went on to say.

Amnesty interviewed 231 mostly South Asian migrants - 132 working at the stadium and 99 on green spaces in the surrounding Aspire sports complex.

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