420 million euros! That's the sum that human rights organizations and fans are demanding from FIFA - as compensation for the migrant workers on the construction sites for the World Cup in Qatar. The World Football Association continues to weigh it down.
Human rights organizations and football fans are demanding millions in compensation from the world association FIFA for migrant workers in Qatar. According to an open letter from several organizations to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, at least 440 million US dollars (about 420 million euros) must be made available for numerous human rights violations since the World Cup was awarded in 2010. This sum corresponds to the prize money at the final round at the end of the year.
The letter was signed by the human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as the fan organization Football Supporters Europe (FSE). The massive violations of the rights of migrants in Qatar were known before the World Cup was awarded, said Amnesty Middle East expert Katja Müller-Fahlbusch. FIFA turned a blind eye to this and thus undeniably contributed to human rights abuses.
In a statement, the world association pointed out, among other things, that numerous workers had already received decisions from the tournament organizers. FIFA President Infantino recently mocked the workers on the construction sites. "One thing we must not forget when we talk about this topic: work, hard work, hard work," he said at an event in Los Angeles, dodging a question about compensation payments from FIFA profits for the families of guest workers who died in Qatar .
The amount of millions required is a minimum, according to the organization's statement. However, the total "for unpaid wages, extortionate agency fees, and compensation for injuries and deaths could be far higher." It should be "determined in a transparent and credible process".
Qatar is also obliged to pay compensation for human rights violations, the authors continue. They acknowledge that the Gulf emirate has strengthened the rights of migrants through labor reforms. However, the reforms came too late for many workers and were only partially implemented. The rich emirate is repeatedly criticized for systematic human rights violations and the exploitation of migrants. The government denies the allegations and is leading reforms in favor of foreign workers. This is how the kafala system was dismantled. This binds foreign workers tightly to a local guarantor such as an employer and often opens the door to exploitation.
According to Amnesty, around two million migrant workers live in Qatar. They come mainly from poor countries like Bangladesh, Nepal or India. Most of them work on construction sites. Many of these are related to the World Cup. The soccer World Cup starts on November 21st and runs until December 18th.