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«Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. Our vision ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

THE UGLY SIDE OF

THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

EXPLOITATION OF MIGRANT WORKERS ON A QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP SITE

Amnesty International is a global movement of more

than 7 million people who campaign for a world where

human rights are enjoyed by all.

Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights

enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

and other international human rights standards.

We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion and are funded mainly by our membership and public donations.

© Amnesty International 2016 Qatar, DOHA - JANUARY 31, 2016: A general view of cranes and building works during the construction and refurbishment of the Khalifa International Except where otherwise noted, content in this document is licensed under Stadium in the Aspire Zone, Doha, Qatar, the venue for group and latter stage a Creative Commons (attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives, matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

international 4.0) license. © Mathew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode

For more information please visit the permissions page on our website:

www.amnesty.org Where material is attributed to a copyright owner other than Amnesty International this material is not subject to the Creative Commons lisence.

Index: MDE 22/3548/2016 First published in 2016 Original language: English by Amnesty International Ltd Printed by Amnesty International, Peter Benson House, 1 Easton Street International Secretariat, UK London WC1X ODW, UK amnesty.org

CONTENTS

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 4

1.1 Methodology 11

2. BACKGROUND 13

3. LABOUR EXPLOITATION AT KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL STADIUM – A WORLD CUP SITE 16

4. BUSINESSES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE AT KHALIFA 33

4.1 Eversendai: Abuses on the Khalifa refurbishment project 38

4.2 Midmac-Six Construct JV 48

4.3 Nakheel Landscapes 53

4.4 Aspire Zone Foundation 59

5. FAILURE OF THE STATE TO PROTECT MIGRANT WORKERS 64

6. FIFA: PERSISTENT FAILURES OF DUE DILIGENCE 69

7. CONCLUSION 73

7.1 Recommendations74

THE UGLY SIDE OF THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

EXPLOITATION OF MIGRANT WORKERS ON A QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP SITE

INDEX: MDE 22/3548/2016 MARCH 2016 Amnesty International

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

“My life here is like a prison. The work is difficult, we worked for many hours in the hot sun. When I first complained about my situation, soon after arriving in Qatar, the manager said ‘if you [want to] complain you can but there will be consequences. If you want to stay in Qatar be quiet and keep working’. Now I am forced to stay in Qatar and continue working.” Deepak, metalworker on Khalifa International Stadium, a FIFA 2022 World Cup venue, speaking in May 2015 In 2010 FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to the Gulf state of Qatar. The country embarked on massive construction projects to build stadiums and other infrastructure necessary to host the tournament. One of these projects is an extensive refurbishment of the Khalifa International Stadium, one of Qatar’s main sporting venues. Khalifa Stadium is situated in the Aspire Zone, also known as Sport City, a public area that has a number of sporting fields and facilities.

In 2015 Amnesty International identified more than 100 migrant workers employed on the Khalifa Stadium who were being subjected to human rights abuses by the companies for which they worked.

The organization also found that the labour rights of migrant workers involved in landscaping green spaces in the Aspire Zone surrounding Khalifa Stadium were being abused by their employer.

Migrant workers, mainly from South Asia, comprise more than 90% of Qatar’s workforce. The men and women who come to Qatar for employment do so under a sponsorship system that enables their employers to exercise significant control over their lives. Every migrant worker in Qatar must have a “sponsor”, who must also be his or her employer. Migrant workers need their sponsor’s permission to change jobs or leave the country. If a sponsor withdraws sponsorship migrant workers can be deported at any time, without any process to challenge their deportation. As many migrant workers take on large debts to finance their move to Qatar, and have families who are dependent on their salary, they are easily exploited.

THE UGLY SIDE OF THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

EXPLOITATION OF MIGRANT WORKERS ON A QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP SITE

INDEX: MDE 22/3548/2016 MARCH 2016 Amnesty International Exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar, particularly in the construction sector, has been widely reported by human rights and trades union groups and the international media, particularly since 2010.

Amongst the most frequently-reported problems facing migrant workers are: deceptive recruitment practices which see migrant workers promised more favourable conditions of work by recruiters in their home country than they are given on arrival in Qatar; employers compelling workers to live in squalid conditions; employers confiscating workers’ passports and denying them the exit visa they need to leave Qatar; late or non-payment of wages; and employers not giving workers proper identity documents, which leaves them exposed to arrest. In extreme, but not exceptional, cases migrants are subjected to forced labour.





Amnesty International carried out research on the Khalifa Stadium refurbishment and the Aspire Zone between February 2015 and February 2016. Researchers visited Qatar three times and interviewed 234 men in total working for the companies responsible for the abuse. They visited the labour camps where the men were living, reviewed publically available documentation on the projects and met with the organization responsible for delivery of the World Cup in Qatar, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. Researchers also engaged in correspondence with companies responsible for the Khalifa Stadium and Aspire Zone projects.

COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS RESPONSIBLE FOR KHALIFA STADIUM AND ASPIRE ZONE PROJECTS

Work on all World Cup sites is carried out under the auspices of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body set up by the Government of Qatar to deliver the World Cup. The work on the Khalifa Stadium refurbishment involves a chain of contractors reporting ultimately to a single client.

That client is the Aspire Zone Foundation, which, on the Khalifa Stadium project, operates on behalf of the Supreme Committee. The Foundation was created by Emiri decree in 2008 with the aim of establishing Qatar as a global centre for elite sporting events. Aspire Zone Foundation appointed a main contractor for Khalifa Stadium, a joint venture company involving Midmac, a Qatari construction company, and Six Construct, a subsidiary of the Belgian company Besix.

While the Midmac-Six Construct joint venture (JV) has overall responsibility for the work on Khalfia Stadium, other companies are employed on the site to carry out specific elements of the refurbishment.

One of these companies is Eversendai Qatar, a subsidiary of the Malaysian company, Eversendai. For the work on Khalifa, Eversendai used at least two labour supply companies: Seven Hills and Blue Bay.

Labour supply companies are small operations in which a sponsor brings a number of migrant workers to Qatar and then hires them out to other companies to do work. Labour supply companies generally do not engage in specific commercial activity themselves; essentially their business is the hiring out of people.

In 2014 the Supreme Committee established the Workers’ Welfare Standards for all World Cup sites.

These Standards are included in contracts awarded to companies working on World Cup sites. They cover all of the main labour issues that have been documented as problems in Qatar, including ethical recruitment, timely payment of salaries, and a complete prohibition of forced labour. Many of these issues are also covered in Qatar’s laws. In particular Qatari law prohibits retention of passports, delayed payment of wages and deceptive recruitment.

The work on the Aspire Zone green spaces is being done by Nakheel Landscapes, a Qatari company.

Aspire Logistics, a part of the Aspire Zone Foundation, is the client for this project. The landscaping of the Aspire Zone green areas is not an official World Cup project.

THE UGLY SIDE OF THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

EXPLOITATION OF MIGRANT WORKERS ON A QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP SITE

INDEX: MDE 22/3548/2016 MARCH 2016 Amnesty International

HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES ON KHALIFA STADIUM AND THE ASPIRE ZONE

All of the men interviewed by Amnesty International said they had taken out loans to pay for recruitmentrelated fees – usually to recruitment agents in their home country. Qatari law prohibits charging migrant workers recruitment fees but the practice is widespread.

Many of the migrant workers who spoke to Amnesty International reported arriving in Qatar to find that the terms and conditions of their work were different from those that they had been promised by recruiters in their home country. The main form of deception that workers reported was with regard to salary. All but six of the 234 men interviewed told Amnesty International that, on arrival in Qatar, they learned that their salaries would be lower than the amount they were promised. Deceptive recruitment practices increase workers’ vulnerability to trafficking for labour exploitation and forced labour. Having paid fees and, in many cases, taken on debt to move to Qatar they felt they had no option but to accept the lower salaries, although many were then left in very difficult situations, struggling to repay loans with less money than expected.

None of the companies contacted by Amnesty International had taken any effective action to combat this problem. Nakheel Landscapes told Amnesty International that it was shocked by the information and would take action. However Nakheel workers described telling their manager that their salary was lower than promised and being ignored. One man said that a Nakheel manager told him: “what you were promised in Bangladesh is not my problem”.

When Amnesty International first encountered the men involved in the Khalifa Stadium refurbishment and the Aspire Zone landscaping projects in 2015, they were living in squalid labour camps, with overcrowded rooms and few facilities. In one case the main entrance road to the camp was flooded due to inadequate drainage, and smelled of raw sewage. All of the accommodation sites were clearly in breach of both Qatari law and the Supreme Committee’s Workers’ Welfare Standards.

Some of men interviewed by Amnesty International were later moved to better accommodation. This included men working for Eversendai, who were moved in mid-2015. Eversendai was awarded the contract on Khalifa Stadium in August 2014 but the Midmac-Six Construct JV only checked its labour camp in January 2015 and discovered the sub-standard conditions in which migrant workers were compelled to live. While the men who worked directly for Eversendai were rehoused, the men who worked for labour supply companies that Eversendai used on Khalifa Stadium were not. These men, brought onto the Khalifa site by Eversendai between October 2014 and June 2015, continue to live in the same appalling conditions as of February 2016.

The men working for Nakheel Landscapes on the landscaping of the green spaces in the Aspire Zone were also living in sub-standard accommodation in labour camps. Nakheel Landscapes moved its workforce to new accommodation at the end of 2015.

The vast majority of the workers whom Amnesty International interviewed had their passports confiscated by their employers, in contravention of Qatari law. Retention of passports can stop workers from exercising their right to leave a country and makes them more vulnerable to forced labour. Some of the companies subsequently returned passports to their employees; however, this appears to have only taken place after Amnesty International wrote to the companies.



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