Post-World Cup, Qatar Is Pressing Ahead With Labor Reforms but Concerns for Migrant Workers Remain
The enduring image of the 2022 World Cup was Lionel Messi holding aloft soccer’s biggest prize in Qatar's spectacular Lusail Stadium
After hosting the World Cup, Qatar now oversees the Asian Cup, diverting attention from previous human rights concerns. Despite the International Labor Organization acknowledging post-World Cup reforms benefiting migrant workers, Amnesty International contends that abuses persist. The call for increased efforts in implementing reforms echoes concerns about weak enforcement.
Notably, Amnesty urged Qatar and FIFA for enhanced support, particularly regarding worker compensation. The demand for foreign labour remains evident in Doha, with low wages, shared accommodations, and challenging working conditions. Despite the minimum monthly wage introduction, it remains relatively low at 1,000 Qatari riyals ($275) plus food and shelter.
While strides have been made, migrant workers, crucial to Qatar's economy, still face challenges, prompting concerns about the sustainability of reforms. The ILO emphasizes the need for continued improvements, pointing out ongoing gaps, including investigations into work-related deaths.
As FIFA labels the World Cup a catalyst for reforms, the focus now shifts to the 2034 World Cup, potentially hosted by Saudi Arabia. Acknowledging past criticisms, calls for addressing human rights risks resonate, emphasizing the need for comprehensive labour laws, freedom of expression, and legal protection for diverse communities. The challenge lies in avoiding historical mistakes and ensuring a more ethical and transparent approach to future hosting responsibilities.