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Qatar to publish report into World Cup migrant worker conditions

The highly-awaited report comes after a series of reports earlier this year by the British newspaper detailing widespread labour abuses

Published: Updated:

A report into claims of widespread abuse of migrant workers in Qatar migrant workers revamping Qatar for the 2022 World Cup is set to be published by the Gulf state, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

The highly-awaited report comes after a series of reports earlier this year by the British newspaper detailing widespread labour abuses, including dozens of deaths.

Qatar’s leaders commissioned the report in October after the abuses sparked international controversy and condemned by labor groups, trade union bodies, and football's organizing body, FIFA.

Qatar won the right to host the tournament in December 2010, winning the vote ahead of Japan, South Korea, United States and Australia.

In September, Azfar Khan, senior migration specialist at the International Labor Organization, told Al Arabiya News that Qatar has “very good labor laws, but they are not being implemented well to protect the workers.”

“There are very clear guidelines on health and safety concerns. The law basically states that a worker cannot work more than five hours without a break and cannot work more than eight hours a day, yet we find workers sometimes working 14 hours a day,” Khan said.

The reason for this “incoherent policy” are the “weak inspection mechanisms,” Khan noted, adding that the International Labor Organization is working with the Qatari authorities to try to improve inspection regulations.

“What we have is an incoherent policy and what we would like to see is a more coherent policy,” he said.

He noted that the Ministry of Labor is the top authority that should oversee all the work that goes on in the country. The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, on the other hand, should only give recommendations, according to Khan.

The World Cup’s organizing committee had responded to The Guardian’s report saying it was “appalled.”

“Like everyone viewing the video and images, and reading the accompanying texts, we are appalled by the findings presented in The Guardian’s report. There is no excuse for any worker in Qatar, or anywhere else, to be treated in this manner,” a statement said.

“The health, safety, well-being and dignity of every worker that contributes to staging the 2022 FIFA World Cup is of the utmost importance to our committee and we are committed to ensuring that the event serves as a catalyst toward creating sustainable improvements to the lives of all workers in Qatar,” it added.

But World Cup organizers also introduced labor market reforms that aimed to enshrine workers' rights and welfare conditions.


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