Qatar football World Cup workers exploited

This video says about itself:

12 June 2012

Qatar Forced Labour: According to the US State Department men and women are subjected to forced labor and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Sudan, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and China voluntarily migrate to hrQatar as low-skilled laborers and domestic servants, but some subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude. These conditions include: threats of serious physical or financial harm; the withholding of pay; charging workers for benefits for which the employer is responsible; restrictions on freedom of movement, including the confiscation of passports and travel documents and the withholding of exit permits; arbitrary detention; threats of legal action and deportation; threats of filing false charges against the worker; and physical, mental, and sexual abuse.

Many migrant workers arriving for work in Qatar have paid exorbitant fees to recruiters in their home countries — a practice that makes workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Qatar.

Like other Persian Gulf nations, Qatar has sponsorship laws, which have been widely criticized as “modern-day slavery.” Under the provisions of Qatar‘s sponsorship law, sponsors have the unilateral power to cancel workers’ residency permits, deny workers’ ability to change employers, report a worker as “absconded” to police authorities, and deny permission to leave the country. As a result, sponsors may restrict workers’ movements and workers may be afraid to report abuses or claim their rights, which contribute to their forced labor situation.

Domestic servants are particularly vulnerable to trafficking since they are isolated inside homes and are not covered under the provisions of the labor law. Qatar is also a destination for women who migrate for legitimate purposes and subsequently become involved in prostitution, but the extent to which these women are subjected to forced prostitution is unknown. Some of these victims may be runaway domestic workers who have fallen prey to forced prostitution by individuals who exploit their illegal status.

By Gail Cartmail in Britain:

A stain on the reputation of of the World Cup

Monday 29 July 2013

If you are feeling the heat of summer in your workplace spare a thought for the mainly Asian migrant construction workforce in Qatar.

Building to host the 2022 World Cup is accelerating, but workers’ rights are at a standstill.

In blistering temperatures of 50°C, laws to restrict working during the heat of the day in the hot summer months are simply not enforced.

According to the global union federation the Building Worker’s International, more than 1,000 construction workers were injured in falls last year, up from 600 the previous year.

“I worked as a labourer and electrician in Qatar for two-and-a-half years. I worked on a six-storey building.

“The company had seven buildings with 3,500 people working on them at a time.

“One of my friends was working on a roof, he fell off and died. Because of the heat we are supposed to work in two shifts, but there is no-one to enforce it,” said 25-year-old Narayan Nepali.

The International TUC (ITUC) estimates that without improvements more labourers will die during construction than the number of footballers who will step onto the pitch.

Qataris are the richest people in the world, but the average construction worker toils 15 hours, six days a week for only $8 (£5.20) per day.

International labour standards are ignored with impunity. Migrant workers are lured with false promises then trapped by Qatar law which means migrant workers cannot change their jobs without their employer’s permission.

Leaving – even to escape abuse – results in jail or deportation.

Even international football players suffer exploitation at the hand of Qatar football clubs.

Moroccan/French defender Abdeslam Ouaddou had his contract broken by Qatar SC football club and although he managed to escape the country his wages were unpaid.

Zahir Belounis, who played for Al Jaish, was not so fortunate. His contract to 2015 was broken, he remains trapped in Qatar and is owed 21 months’ wages.

Migrant workers numbering 1.2 million have no right to unionise or strike – they are segregated in remote camps and denied entry to stores, restaurants and other public places.

The 2015 Decent Work Millennium Development Goal is a distant dream for the migrant construction workforce in Qatar.

A decent job is one that enables someone to work and live in conditions of dignity, freedom, equity and security.

All concerned in the 2022 World Cup scandal turn a blind eye to the most blatant exploitation.

Fifa and Qatar have paid lip service to addressing labour issues, but their record is rife with broken promises.

Both are quick off the mark to maximise public relations opportunities and Qatar cynically drew up a “worker’s charter” that was not worth the paper it had been written on.

Only full rights of freedom of association – workers’ rights to organise without fear – as set out in the Ethical Trade Initiative Base Code will genuinely see meaningful improvements to the appalling conditions migrant construction workers face daily in Qatar.

This is why the ITUC is campaigning to rerun the vote – “no World Cup without worker’s rights.”

The ITUC website ( has powerful testimonies from migrant workers involved in the construction of the sporting venues and luxury hotels being built for World Cup visitors.

Globally the number of vulnerable workers is increasing.

There were a staggering 456 million workers in the world living below the $1.25 a day poverty line in 2011.

And half the world’s labour force – some 1.52 billion people – are now in vulnerable forms of employment, up by 136 million since 2000.

Qatar thrives on the flow of migrant workers trying to escape extreme poverty.

Trade union members can support the call for workers’ rights by joining the ITUC campaign and other campaigns that challenge the ever-increasing redistribution of wealth from the world’s poorest to the richest.

Gail Cartmail is assistant general secretary of Unite and TUC general council spokeswoman for International Development.

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