Hundreds of migrant workers hired as security guards for last year’s World Cup are still being denied justice for the abuses they suffered despite FIFA and the hosts Qatar being warned that they were especially vulnerable to exploitation and workers raising complaints and protesting about their treatment.
An investigation has found serious labour abuses occurred at the World Cup and were not properly addressed, even though Amnesty International issued a 70-page report in April 2022, which sounded the alarm about systematic and structural labour abuses across the private security sector in Qatar.
“The World Cup organizers were well aware of the issues but failed to put in place adequate measures to protect workers and prevent predictable labour abuses at World Cup sites, even after workers raised these issues directly,” said Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice.
“It’s six months since the tournament concluded but FIFA and Qatar have yet to offer an effective and accessible scheme to enable abused workers to receive the justice and compensation they are owed. FIFA must now step in and offer immediate and meaningful remediation for the human rights abuses suffered by workers.”
It’s six months since the tournament concluded but FIFA and Qatar have yet to offer an effective and accessible scheme to enable abused workers to receive the justice and compensation they are owedSteve Cockburn, Head of Economic and Social Justice, Amnesty International
The investigation shows that marshals and security guards, who worked at FIFA World Cup sites and were contracted to Teyseer Security Services, a Qatar-based company, suffered a range of work-related harms and abuses.
These included the workers paying unlawful recruitment fees and other related costs, and being given misleading statements about the terms and conditions of their employment. At the end of their temporary contracts, workers said they had no option but to return home, effectively denying them recourse to any remedy or compensation.
we are not taking action only because of the Ghanaians involved, we are taking action because we believe in justice for everyoneStephany Abra Boateng , Growth and Activism Coordinator, AI Ghana
For its research, Amnesty International spoke to 22 men from Nepal, Kenya and Ghana, who were among thousands of migrant workers employed on short term contracts by Teyseer. Amnesty International reviewed employment contracts, job offer correspondence and audiovisual materials including voice records of communications between workers and recruitment agents, and scrutinized information pertaining to other workers who were previously interviewed by the human rights group Equidem, which corroborate allegations that many others experienced similar abuses.
Those interviewed worked as marshals and security guards in the lead-up to the tournament and during the event, which was held between 20 November and 18 December 2022. They were stationed at various locations, including the Khalifa International Stadium, FIFA fan zones, the Corniche, and both in and outside the metro station in Souk Waqif in Doha.
Amnesty International Ghana joined the global campaign to call on the authorities of FIFA to ensure that migrant workers are fully compensated.