World Cup 2022 killed
There are many dead in the construction of stadiums for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. What about FIFA working conditions and policies?
Health and safety are poor
In April 2017, independent researchers will publish the first report on the working conditions of workers in Qatar. The Impact Ltd, with human rights experts, now publishes annually on the construction work of the football stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. Nothing is said about possible deaths in the first report.
Looking at the impact of Workers' Welfare Standards on the 15,000 workers in Qatar, the report makes a distinction between different areas where construction companies fall short. High risks have been found in the area of working conditions, including health and safety, contracts and administration and living conditions. Workers live in small houses and they often lack healthy food and medical care.
In addition, human rights experts have various smaller recommendations. This concerns in particular risks in the area of paying arrears of wages for workers, paying bribes between contractors, and adequate personnel administration which, in addition to the obligations, also defines the rights of employees.
HEY. Hassan Al Thawadi, president of the organization of the 2022 World Cup, welcomes the report, commissioned by FIFA and the organization. According to him, the research indicates that Qatar is constantly improving the working conditions of workers at the stadiums of the first football World Cup in the Middle East.
"We have always believed that the 2022 World Cup will be a catalyst for positive initiatives in Qatar, including important and lasting improvements in working conditions," said Al Thawadi. "Despite the fact that the findings still show a number of risk areas and areas for improvement, they also show the dedication of the organization to constantly improve them."
"We do everything that is needed to ensure that the issues are sufficiently addressed. We respect Impactt's research and independence during their research and observations," he added.
The report says that the host country for the World Football Cup has made significant progress since the Workers' Welfare Standards were introduced. The bodies involved in the construction of the football temples are increasingly showing their interest in improvements.
Dead again at the construction of the stadium in Doha
In Qatar, another death occurred during the construction of the football stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. In Doha, the capital of the host country, a 40-year-old British died in January 2017. He is the umpteenth dead during construction work at the World Cup stadiums in Qatar.
The man fell from a great height, but his safety system did not work. His identity is not further disclosed, but the organization starts an investigation. The man from Great Britain worked for a German company involved in the construction of the 2022 World Cup stadiums. He died yesterday at the Khalifa International Stadium that is being renovated for the World Football Cup.
Hassan Al Thawadi, general secretary of the organization in Qatar, recently said that working conditions for workers have improved considerably. "We are constantly working on improvements. It may be fast, but there is progress." The Dutch trade union FNV has raised the bad circumstances and even brought FIFA to court for slavery and exploitation. Last week the judge agreed with FIFA.
Every year, according to human rights organization Amnesty International, many people are killed in Qatar during the construction of the stadiums. According to the organization of the 2022 World Cup, only two people have now died. According to Al Thawadi, the criticism of Qatar is very exaggerated. The organization is under strict supervision of independent international organizations.
Workers in Qatar are still being exploited according to Amnesty International
Labor migrants working in Qatar on stadiums for the 2022 World Cup are still being exploited. Human rights organization Amnesty International published a report on the abuses on Thursday 31 March 2016.
The human rights organization interviewed 231 workers last year who complain about filthy and cramped accommodations, deception about the nature and reward of work and intimidation. Forced labor was found at one company.
World football association FIFA has been promising for five years to tackle violations of workers' human rights, but so far there has been virtually no improvement, Amnesty notes.
"The Qatari government remains apathetic and FIFA is completely inadequate when it comes to the rights of the workers. Working conditions and scanty payment are in terrible contrast with the generous salaries of footballers who will play in Qatar later," said Eduard, director. Nazarski from Amnesty Netherlands Thursday.
Workers mainly come from Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Amnesty calls on major sponsors such as Adidas, Coca Cola and McDonald's to increase pressure on FIFA to prevent exploitation.
FIFA says in a response to the report that the approach to the problem should be considered as a "process". The World Football Association is confident that there is a good basis for monitoring working conditions in Qatar.
"Of course many challenges remain, but we are on the right track and determined to improve, to contribute even more to the protection of workers' rights in the World Cup 2022 stadium projects."
Government wants to change the conditions for construction workers of World Cup 2022 stadiums in Qatar
The unsalted criticism is known: workers who are building the gigantic World Cup stadiums in Qatar are living in dire circumstances. But, says NOS sports reporter Gio Lippens, the local government wants to change that. And so work is now being done on so-called working-class cities, where World Cup builders can live under better conditions.
Lippens was the Dutch president of the sports journalists' association in Qatar in February 2016 for a conference and was given a tour of one of the cities. There must be sports facilities, a cinema and even a complete shopping center. But it is not really luxurious either: workers have to share their room of 24 square meters with three other employees. And there is a fence around the city. "People just have different ideas here," Lippens explains. And yes, according to him, working in a burning sun with more than 40 degrees is still an issue. "You know that you will be overwhelmed," he says about the tour. "They are sending you in a direction they want to show you. But it was less polished than I thought."
In total, four cities will be built, in which 100,000 people can each live. But that is not nearly enough for the 1.8 million workers. There was no answer to the question of where the remaining 1.4 million employees had to sleep. Currently, many of the workers, mostly from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, sleep six in seven in small, unhygienic rooms.
The Workers Welfare Standards improve working conditions in Qatar
FIFA is fully aware of the situation regarding workers' rights in Qatar. That is why the World Football Association wants to work with stakeholders to improve these conditions in the host country for the 2022 World Cup. People are aware that all eyes on the world are focused on football in Qatar.
Since 2011, FIFA experts have been in contact with the highest authorities in Qatar, including Amnesty International, discussing how sustainable improvement in working conditions is achieved. Several people have already died in the construction of the football stadiums for the World Cup.
FIFA therefore established new rules at the end of 2015 in the Worker's Welfare Standards. These are international standards regarding working conditions, housing and wages. This standard also becomes binding on all companies involved in the construction of stadiums and accommodations in Qatar. FIFA also wants other construction sites in the country to abide by the rules.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy is an organization responsible for delivering the stadiums and other buildings and infrastructure for the World Cup 2022. In March 2013, the first rules of the Worker's Welfare Standards were established. In 2014 this standard was adjusted again. The Workers' Welfare Standards are a set of contractually binding rules that ensure that contractors and subcontractors work in line with international rules regarding working conditions.
In addition to the standard, FIFA regularly examines on its own initiative working conditions in and around the football stadiums in Qatar. On November 4, 2015, 3,694 employees were involved in the construction, who all worked 10.4 million hours.
Better working conditions for workers in Qatar are being introduced
Fair working conditions for workers of the 2022 World Cup must be introduced quickly. This is what FIFA Chairman Blatter, Chairman Michael Sommer of the Confederation of German Trade Unions and the International Trade Union Confederation decided on a meeting in Zurich on 20 November 2013. The working conditions for workers in Qatar are substandard and even people regularly die in the construction of the stadiums.
Economic and political leaders must contribute to improving the unacceptable situation in Qatar. Blatter is therefore pleased with the initiative of the German football association DFB and the employees' organizations, because improvements can be enforced together. The FIFA president is convinced that Qatar takes the situation seriously and implemented improvements in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.
The allocation of the World Football Cup to Qatar and the large publicity associated with the football tournament should make a positive contribution to the image of football worldwide. Poor working conditions for stadium and hotel workers are not part of that, according to DFB chairman Wolfgang Niersbach. Since human lives are at stake, the DFB has brought international organizations together quickly.
Qatar must apply the international standards for employees for the 2022 World Cup, so that the rights and duties of workers are raised to a higher level. Discrimination is prohibited and workers' organizations for the 1.3 million workers are allowed in the host country.
Blatter does not consider FIFA responsible for the circumstances of workers
Sepp Blatter believes FIFA is not responsible for the working conditions of immigrants working on stadiums, infrastructure and other facilities for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. That's what the Swiss presidency of the World Football Association said on Tuesday during a visit to Sri Lanka, exactly four years after FIFA assigned the global final battle to the Arab emirate.
According to Blatter, immigrants in Qatar often work for construction companies from countries such as Germany, France and other European countries. "They are responsible for their employees, not FIFA." Moreover, 78-year-old Blatter, who is heavily under fire with his union, nuances the reports of the miserable conditions under which workers from South Asia in particular have to work. "They are better thanks to the World Cup."
Human rights organizations had previously strongly criticized Qatar for exploiting and deploying migrants as slaves. At least 964 workers would have died in 2012 and 2013 alone. The number of people injured in the workplace would be many times higher. The immigrants, often without a passport and insurance in the Gulf state, work for a hungry wage in extreme heat. Organizations therefore speak of 'inhuman circumstances'.
Blatter positive about the improvements regarding working conditions
Seph Blatter spoke on behalf of FIFA on November 9, 2013 with the highest political authorities to fulfill his three point mission. Blatter's third point concerns the problems in Qatar with working conditions. The Supreme Committee gave a presentation to the FIFA chairman, in which it was stated that the host country has been busy in recent months improving the working conditions of workers in and around the stadiums and accommodations. In addition, various legislative changes were made. An apartment is currently being built in which 60,000 workers can spend the night.
Qatar has already been in contact with the Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) and with the International Labor Organization (ILO). These international organizations stand up for the rights of workers and demand improvement of the host country. The Football World Cup lasts 9 years, but according to Blatter, Qatar is on the right track towards the 2022 World Cup.
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There are many deaths in the construction of stadiums for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. What about FIFA working conditions and policies?