The Qatari authorities have done “almost nothing effective” to end chronic labour exploitation since the country was chosen to host the football World Cup in 2022, the Amnesty International said. The rights organisation has claimed that Qatar has failed to deliver promised reforms. “Too little has been done to address rampant migrant labour abuse. Qatar’s persistent labour reform delays are a recipe for human rights disaster,” said Mustafa Qadri, Gulf Migrant Rights Researcher at the Amnesty International. An estimated half a million Nepalis work in the gas-rich Gulf emirate. In 2012, British daily The Guardian had exposed the death and abuses of migrant workers, which drew the attention of the world towards the harsh working conditions at construction sites and squalid living quarters in the tiny peninsula.
The organisation had carried out five research missions to Qatar in the past four years to investigate the condition of the migrant worker population, expected to reach 2 million within the next two years. “Migrant workers continue to face impediments and delays in accessing the justice system and are not allowed to form or join unions.
Many thousands still struggle to obtain adequate health and other basic services, face delays in obtaining their resident permits, or live and work in intolerable conditions,” Qadri said. The organisation has called on Fifa to press the Qatari authorities to implement and monitor reforms to protect migrant workers’ rights. “Fifa has bent over backwards to make a Qatar World Cup work, even taking the unprecedented step of moving the tournament from summer to winter. But apart from occasional public statements, the organization has not set any clear, concrete agenda for how it will push Qatar to ensure migrant workers’ rights are respected,” he said.