NGO groups: Fifa owes migrant workers in Qatar $440m in reparations


A group of non-government organizations have reportedly called on Fifa, the Switzerland-based football organization, to compensate migrant workers in Qatar, whose human rights were violated by the Qatar World Cup, with at least $440 million (£356 million).

Reportedly, six months before the opening World Cup match in Doha, England has been asked to support the initiative described as an ‘innovative scheme’ that would deliver some real compensation to workers.

Football Supporters Europe, Human Rights Watch, and the Wood and Building Workers' International have all called for a remediation plan to address documented violations of human rights during World Cup events in Qatar.

According to the organizations, Fifa should save an amount that is no less than the price money of $440 million offered to the teams that would be participating in the World Cup, and invest it in funds that support remediation.

As per reports, this amount represents just a fraction of the $6 billion Fifa anticipates to make in revenues from the tournament as well as the $1.6 billion it currently holds in reserves.

CEO of Amnesty International UK, Sacha Deshmukh, has called on England to lend their support to the idea, expressing hope that the FA, Gareth Southgate, and the football players would also support this initiative.

Deshmukh stated that the international football community can easily afford to do this. It is a relatively small share of Fifa's enormous prize money and is an important step toward rectifying the serious human rights violations that are at the core of this tournament.

In response, Fifa has stated that it is evaluating the given proposal. The group stated that it had established ‘an extraordinary due diligence process’ to protect the migrant workers, and has developed its own remediation processes in conjunction with the Qatari Supreme Committee, which is also responsible for the tournament.

The remediation process includes the $22.6 million that were to be transferred to workers by the end of 2021 to redress the issue of recruitment fees paid by migrant workers to agencies or brokers for job placement.

As per reports, Qatari authorities have had an angry reaction to the NGO groups’ proposal, with the ministry of labor stating that Qatar is proud of the reforms that have been introduced, adding that the progress in terms of labor reforms is undeniable.

The ministry further added that over $110 million in payments that were previously due to the migrant workers had been distributed through the Workers' Support and Insurance Fund of the government.

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