Amnesty International raises serious accusations against the World Cup host country Qatar. The Qatari organising committee of the World Cup even confirms the accusations.
In its latest report, the organisation denounces “serious human rights violations” in the private security sector, “some of which correspond to forced labour”.
The Qatari World Cup organising committee confirmed the allegations and spoke of a “totally unacceptable” violation of labour regulations.
According to Amnesty, migrant workers had to “perform work against their will and under threat of punishment”. According to the human rights organisation, some workers had to work up to 84 hours a week, with the knowledge of the Qatari government.
According to the report, at least three companies also allegedly lent security staff to World Cup projects and events organised by the world governing body FIFA, including the Club World Cup and the Arab Cup last year.
Amnesty cited interviews with staff from eight security firms.
“Our findings show once again that the Qatari government is not serious about implementing its own laws and holding those who break them to account,” said Katja Müller-Fahlbusch of Amnesty.
She calls for the world governing body to compensate workers affected by forced labour. What FIFA has done so far “is not enough”.
Companies put on “black list
The World Cup organisers said the companies had been put on a “blacklist” to prevent them from working on future projects. They have also been reported to the Ministry of Labour.
The ministry said it regularly takes action against “unscrupulous” employers.
Qatar has been criticised for years for the exploitation of migrant workers and human rights violations. The Qatari government always refers to reforms in the country.
The World Cup will take place in the rich desert state from 21 November to 18 December.