FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: No legacy without trade union rights

(Photo: European Pressphoto Agency)

Geneva, 15 March 2023On the eve of FIFA 73rd Congress in Rwandathe Global Union Federations express deep concerns about a tangible and lasting decent work legacy in Qatar. The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup left town last December without further progress on human rights, leaving behind a deteriorating environment for migrant workers. The Global Union Federations ask for the respect, realisation and promotion of the fundamental principles and rights at work, especially freedom of association, the right to organise and the right to collective bargaining. They urge the government of Qatar to ratify without delay fundamental ILO Conventions 87 and 98. 

As a result of many years of concrete engagement on the ground, concessions won by the international trade union movement related to forced labour brought important advancement in the protection of migrant workers' human rights. However, reports on the ground reveal continuing breaches of the new labour legislation and abuses by unscrupulous employers. Cooperation and dialogue with some Global UnionFederations has come to an abrupt halt, suggesting a deteriorating environment for workers and their advocates threatening the sustainability of past improvements. Worker rights advocates need to be able to operate in full freedom free from harassment and without the threat of retaliation. Therefore, the Global Union Federations signatories to the Statement demand no further delay in progressing on the fundamental rights of workers to associate and bargain collectively, as the key to ensure workers can collectively defend their rights and interests.

"On many occasions, FIFA has recognised on paper its human rights responsibilities and commitments for a decent work legacy of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. To date, neither the Qatari government nor FIFA are delivering on their lofty promises. It is time that past abuses on workers are recognised and remedied, and that the human rights of workers to associate and bargaining is recognised, so that those who remain in Qatar can collectively participate in shaping their futures and offset abuses," said Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary.

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