Qatar: Global survey shows overwhelming demand for FIFA to compensate World Cup migrant workers

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  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents in 15 countries back the proposal that FIFA would use World Cup revenue to compensate workers who suffered in the build-up to the tournament
  • More than two-thirds (67%) want their national football associations to speak out publicly on human rights issues related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
  • FIFA set to establish remediation program before World Cup kicks off on November 20, 2022

A new global poll commissioned by Amnesty International has found that almost three-quarters (73%) of adults in the countries surveyed would support FIFA compensating migrant workers who suffered during preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Support is even higher among those who are likely to watch at least one tournament match (84%).

The YouGov poll, which surveyed more than 17,000 adults in 15 countries, also showed that an overwhelming majority (67%) want their national football associations to speak out publicly about human rights issues associated with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, particularly in favor of compensation for migrant workers.

73%

of respondents support the proposal that FIFA use some of the money generated by the 2022 World Cup to compensate migrant workers

63%

want their national football associations to speak out publicly on human rights issues related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, including in favor of compensation for migrant workers

“These findings send a clear message to football leaders. People all over the world are united in their desire to see FIFA step in and redress the suffering endured by migrant workers in Qatar. They also want to see their national associations take a much tougher stance,” said Steve Cockburn, Economic and Social Justice Manager at Amnesty International.

“With less than 50 days to kick-off, time is running out. But there is still time for FIFA to do the right thing. Fans do not want a World Cup indelibly tainted by violations The past cannot be undone, but a compensation program is a clear and simple way for FIFA and Qatar to offer at least some measure of redress to the hundreds of thousands of workers who have made this tournament possible.

The findings underpin the #PayUpFIFA campaign launched by a coalition of human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, supporter groups and trade unions in May 2022, which calls on FIFA to set aside a fund to compensate workers and prevent future abuse. The coalition is asking FIFA to set aside a minimum of $440m for the fund – the equivalent it hands out in prizes at the World Cup. FIFA will derive approximately $6 billion in revenue from the tournament.

After the campaign was launched, FIFA told Amnesty International that it was considering the proposal but had so far issued no public response.

The #PayUpFIFA campaign also highlighted that national football associations have a responsibility under international human rights standards to support remedies for migrant workers in view of their participation in the World Cup. However, while the Belgian, Danish, Dutch, English, German and Norwegian football associations have so far expressed support for the principle of compensation when requested by journalists, no football association has yet done so. official public statement specifically requesting FIFA to establish such a remediation program.

Worldwide support

YouGov surveyed 17,477 adults in Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, UK United and United States. Of these, 54% said they were likely to watch at least one World Cup game.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of those polled – and 84% of those likely to watch at least one World Cup match – said they would support the proposal that FIFA use some of the money generated by the 2022 World Cup to compensate migrant workers who suffered in the preparation for the tournament. The strongest support came from Kenya, where 93% of respondents were in favor of compensation. Thousands of Kenyans work in Qatar, where Amnesty International has documented numerous abuses, including forced labor by Kenyan security guards, construction workers and domestic workers.

Support for compensation also topped three-quarters among 2026 World Cup co-hosts Mexico (86%), as well as Spain (83%), Argentina (82%), Switzerland ( 81%), Finland (79%) and Belgium (77%). %), while support among likely World Cup viewers was even higher — above 80% in 11 out of 15 countries. Only 10% of those polled said they would object to FIFA providing compensation, with the remaining 17% saying they didn’t know anyway.

% of adults who support the proposal that FIFA use World Cup revenue to compensate workers who suffered in the preparation for the tournament

More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents also believe their national football associations should speak out publicly on human rights issues related to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, including seeking compensation for migrant workers. Support is highest in Kenya (93%) and above 70% in Spain (74%), Finland (71%), Mexico (71%), France (70%), Norway (70%) ), Switzerland (70%) and the United Kingdom (70%). Support was even higher (71%) among those likely to watch at least one tournament game.

#PayUpFIFA

Since 2010, when FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar without demanding any improvements in worker protections, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have faced human rights abuses while employed to build and maintain the stadiums, hotels, transport and other infrastructure needed to host the tournament.

Amnesty International calls on FIFA and Qatar to put in place a remediation program with the full participation of workers, trade unions, the International Labor Organization and civil society. The program should be established and a first meeting organized between the main stakeholders before the tournament kicks off on November 20, 2022.

As well as covering a range of compensation costs, including reimbursement of unpaid wages, exorbitant recruitment fees paid by hundreds of thousands of workers, and compensation for injuries and deaths, the program is also expected to support initiatives aimed at protecting workers’ rights in the future.

Background

The full list of survey results is available here.

FIFA’s response to Amnesty International’s May 2022 appeals report is included in the appendix to the report. The report was accompanied by an open letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Amnesty International and a coalition of human rights organisations, trade unions and supporter groups.

Since 2018, Qatar has introduced a series of important labor reforms aimed at improving workers’ rights, but lack of enforcement means serious abuses persist. Improvements for workers at official FIFA venues, such as stadiums, were also introduced in 2014 via the Supreme Committee’s Worker Welfare Standards, but these standards are not universally met and only cover a minority of the hundreds of thousands of workers on World Cup-related projects. .

A positive initiative launched in 2018 by the Qatari body responsible for organizing the World Cup, the Supreme Committee, includes an agreement with contractors at official World Cup venues to reimburse recruitment costs of 48,000 workers. However, this agreement does not cover the hundreds of thousands of workers on other infrastructure projects, such as transport, utilities and hotels, essential to the World Cup.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 17,477 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between August 16 and September 6, 2022. The survey was conducted online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in the countries studied (aged 18 and over).

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