I am writing to you as a football supporter who cares greatly about the impact of our beautiful game on society and human rights. Despite some progress achieved on human rights in the lead up the 2022 World Cup, I am deeply concerned about the ongoing abuse of migrant workers in Qatar.
With less than two years to kick-off, Qatar’s labour reforms remain poorly implemented and enforced. This means the very people who are making the World Cup possible for us to enjoy are still being exploited, while FIFA is not doing enough about it.
FIFA has a clear responsibility to act when workers on World Cup sites are at risk of exploitation. When FIFA decided to host the World Cup in Qatar it knew – or should have known – that there are inherent risks in holding the tournament there, and that migrant workers working in all business sectors related to the success of the World Cup, whether linked to the official sites directly or not, would suffer to make it possible. Football fans will travel to Qatar for the World Cup and will stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, be driven around in taxis and engage with service industries that employ migrant workers and that are vital for the success of the tournament. FIFA must use its influence to urge Qatar to enforce its labour reforms so that no more workers suffer for the game we all love.
I am therefore calling on you, as the President of FIFA, to ensure FIFA:
Conducts adequate human rights due diligence so that it can properly investigate whether labour abuse is taking place on World Cup-related sites, act quickly to stop it and remediate any harm caused.
Takes action to ensure human rights abuses on World Cup sites, or linked to the tournament, are remedied, including in FIFA’s supply chain, service or business relationships.
Uses its influence, publicly and privately, to urge Qatar to fully implement and enforce its labour reforms. This should include Qatar taking further measures to protect all workers, including those employed in service industries essential to the delivery of the tournament, from labour abuse.
Publicly commits to include human rights criteria and a human rights due diligence process in all future FIFA tournament awarding decisions.