Qatar: Overwhelming demand for FIFA to compensate World Cup migrant workers – new global survey

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Almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents in 15 countries support FIFA in using World Cup revenue to compensate workers who have suffered

UK poll shows 74% support demand, with 70% also wanting English and Welsh FAs to speak out on human rights

Call on FIFA to establish remediation program ahead of 20 November kick-off

“The British public – fans and non-fans alike – want justice for abused World Cup workers” – Sacha Deshmukh

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 have suffered in preparations for this World Cup. year in Qatar. Support is even higher among those who are likely to watch at least one World Cup game (84%).

The YouGov poll, which surveyed more than 17,000 adults in 15 countries, also showed that a substantial majority (67%) want their national federations to speak out on human rights issues associated with the World Cup in Qatar. , in particular in favor of compensation for migrants. workers.

The poll found that Britons matched the global trend charted by the poll, with 74% of those polled backing the call for FIFA to compensate workers and 70% also wanting the FA – whether in England or the Country. of Wales – speaks out on human rights. (see ‘UK results’ below).

The findings confirm the #PayUpFIFA campaign launched in May by a coalition of human rights organizations (including Amnesty), fan groups and trade unions, which is calling on FIFA to set aside a fund to compensate workers and prevent future abuse. The campaign demands that FIFA set aside at least $440 million – the equivalent it distributes in World Cup prizes. FIFA will derive approximately $6 billion in revenue from the tournament.

After the campaign launched, FIFA told Amnesty that it was considering the proposal but to date has not released any public response.

The #PayUpFIFA campaign also highlighted that national federations have a responsibility under international human rights standards to support remedies for migrant workers. However, while the Belgian, Danish, Dutch, English, German and Norwegian federations have expressed their support for the principle of compensation at the request of journalists, no federation has yet made an official public statement specifically calling on FIFA to establish a remediation program.

Steve Cockburn, Head of Economic and Social Justice at Amnesty International, said:

“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 stronger stance.

“With less than 50 days to go, time is running out. But there is still time for FIFA to do the right thing.

“Fans don’t want a World Cup indelibly tainted by human rights abuses.

“The past cannot be undone, but a compensation package 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 made this tournament possible. ”

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 match.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of those polled – and 84% of those likely to watch at least one game – said they supported the proposal that FIFA would use some of the money generated by the World Cup to compensate migrant workers who suffered in 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 has documented numerous abuses, including forced labor by Kenyan security guards, construction workers and domestic servants.

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 respondents said they would oppose FIFA awarding compensation, with the remaining 17% saying they didn’t know.

More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents also believe their national federations should speak out on human rights issues associated with the World Cup, including demanding compensation for migrant workers. Support was highest in Kenya (93%) and almost three quarters in many countries: 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 game.

Discoveries in the UK

A poll in the UK (of 2,183 people) found that almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents supported a FIFA remediation programme, with more than half (52%) ‘strongly supporting’ it. Similarly, of those polled in the UK, 70% said they thought the FA – whether in England or Wales – should speak out on human rights issues associated with the World Cup, including demanding compensation for migrant workers.

Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Amnesty International UK, said:

“This poll shows that Britons want the plight of migrant workers at the World Cup in Qatar to be properly addressed, and not pushed aside by the glitz and excitement of the tournament itself.

“The British public – fans and non-fans alike – want justice for the abused World Cup workers, and they want to see the English and Welsh FAs show they genuinely care about human rights. man by publicly supporting a FIFA-funded worker remediation program.

“FIFA should have insisted on human rights clauses when initially assessing Qatar’s bid for the organization – now they have to make amends.

“Whoever wins the World Cup, we must see proper recognition of the abuse suffered by so many workers during the long and troubled build-up to Qatar 2022.”

#PayUpFIFA

Since 2010, when FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar without demanding improvements in worker protections, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have faced human rights abuses while they were employed to build and maintain the stadiums, hotels, transport and other infrastructure needed to host the tournament. . Amnesty calls on FIFA and Qatar to put in place a remediation program with the full participation of workers, trade unions, the ILO and civil society. This should be established – and a first meeting organized between the main stakeholders – before the tournament kicks off on November 20. 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 expected to support initiatives aimed at protect workers’ rights in the future. FIFA’s response to Amnesty’s recent report on a remediation program is included in the appendix to the report. The report was accompanied by an open letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Amnesty and a coalition of human rights organisations, trade unions and supporter groups.

Limited reforms

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 100,000 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 thousands of workers on other infrastructure projects, such as transport, utilities and hotels essential to the World Cup.

Methodology

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

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