BRUSSELS: FIFA’s decision to send a delegation to Qatar to press the workers’ rights has been dismissed as “totally inadequate” by International Trade Union Confederation.
General secretary Sharan Burrow reacted with that description to a statement by the world football federation’s president, Sepp Blatter, after a meeting of the FIFA executive committee.
Burron said that in the two years since the ITUC first outlined to FIFA the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar, an average of 600 workers had died there. The ITUC has estimated that 4,000 workers will die in Qatar before the start of the World Cup in 2022 if no action is taken.
He added: “Workers’ from countries including India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and increasingly Africa are used as forced labour, denied the right to join a union, live in squalid living conditions and often are not paid the wages they are promised.
“Scores of healthy young men are dying. This web of deadly practices draws in international companies, the Government of Qatar and FIFA.”
He was equally dismissive of statements from the Qatar 2202 Supreme Committee.
Burrow said: “Qatar’s damage limitation exercise will not resolve the problem of forced labour in Qatar. The promise to recruit inspectors to police defective laws which cannot even be enforced under their kefala migration system will not stop workers dying in Qatar. Nor will engaging a law firm for an ‘independent review’ make any real difference.”
“The settlement of this global dispute is dependent on actions by FIFA and the political will of the Qatari authorities, which are still absent. FIFA’s offer is an insult to the bereaved families,” added Sharan Burrow.