FIFA officials will meet a delegation from Amnesty International on Monday to discuss the human rights organisation’s concerns over migrant workers ahead of the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
The Amnesty representatives will hand over a petition calling on the governing body to address ongoing issues in the Gulf state ahead of discussions on the matters raised as it prepares to host the tournament next year.
FIFA’s chief social responsibility and education officer Joyce Cook said: “We very much welcome the ongoing engagement with Amnesty International and are always open to transparently and constructively discussing and addressing any concerns that our stakeholders may have.
“We remain fully committed to ensuring the protection of workers engaged in the delivery of the World Cup, and we are confident that the tournament will also serve as a catalyst for broader positive and lasting change across the host country.
“As widely recognised by international expert organisations, the World Cup has already contributed significantly to improved labour conditions in the region and it is clear that Qatar is on the right track having introduced sweeping labour reforms and making substantial progress, in what has been a comparatively very short period of time.”
The Qatar government has passed a series of laws since 2017 aimed at improving conditions for migrant workers, including tackling the “kafala” system, which binds foreign workers to their employers, restricts their ability to change jobs and prevents many from leaving the country without their employers’ permission.
However, Amnesty’s Qatar Reality Check 2021 report released in November last year claimed that in many respects, it was “business as usual”.
The report said that some workers still need the permission of their employer to leave a job in practice, that “wage theft” remains common and that deaths in service are not properly investigated.