At one end of Kathmandu’s international airport, proud parents bid farewell to their sons leaving Nepal in search of better jobs. But the scene is very different at the arrival terminal, where wailing parents are met with the bodies of family members who died in Qatar.
Thousands of Nepalese workers are being forced to work in 50C/122F degree heat with no access to food or water, no pay, passports held to prevent them from leaving. Experts estimate over 1 million migrant workers could be at risk of modern slavery in Qatar between now and the 2022 World Cup; an average of twelve workers could die per week unless action is taken at this critical stage in the construction process.
Historically, there have been serious challenges to protecting migrant workers from modern slavery in Qatar. But with the prestige of hosting the World Cup on the line, there has never been a better chance to push the Qatari government for change.
If FIFA takes advantage of this opportunity for policy reform, workers could be protected from falling into the nightmare of modern slavery in Qatar for generations to come. This could be the break we are waiting for in the entire region.
Tell FIFA to help ensure construction for the Qatar World Cup does not use slave labour:
1. Call on the Qatari Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022 to update contracts to meet international labour standards.
2. Include audit requirements for all contracts affiliated with FIFA sporting events that include large-scale construction projects for cases of modern slavery, with the initial bidding process.
3. Publicly report the findings of audits for cases of modern slavery.