FIFA World Cup: Sponsors must support workers compensation

Global survey shows strong support for sponsors to back compensation for migrant workers

The corporate partners and sponsors of FIFA at the 2022 World Cup must put pressure on the world football association and the government of qatar to provide compensation and other reparations to migrant workers and their families who have suffered deaths or injuries, have been victims of wage theft or have incurred debts generated by illegal recruitment fees during preparations for the tournament, they said today Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and FairSquare.

The petition follows a new global opinion poll commissioned by Amnesty International which reveals that two-thirds (66%) of those questioned, and 72% of those likely to watch at least one World Cup match, They stated that FIFA’s corporate partners and sponsors should publicly challenge FIFA to provide compensation to migrant workers who were affected during the preparations for the World Cup in Qatar. The survey was conducted by YouGov and included 17,477 adults from 15 countries.

In July, the three human rights organizations they sent notes to the 14 corporate partners of FIFA and sponsors of the World Cup to ask them to urge the football association to remedy abuses against migrant workers related to the preparations for this competition. Since then, four of them, AB InBev/Budweiser, Adidas, Coke Y McDonald’s They have stated that they will support the initiative to grant this financial compensation. An additional 10 sponsors remain publicly unsupportive and have not responded to written requests about the need to look into abuses committed in connection with the tournament. These companies are Visa, Hyundai-Kia, Wanda Group, Qatar Energy, Qatar Airways, Live, Hisense, Mengniu, Crypto Y Byju’s.

“Brands buy the rights to sponsor the World Cup because they want to be associated with joy, fair competition and spectacular human achievement on the field of play, not the rampant wage theft and death of workers that made it possible. the World Cup,” he said. Minky Worden, director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch. “There are only two months to go before the first ball gets rolling, and the sponsors must use their considerable influence to put pressure on FIFA and Qatar to meet their human rights responsibilities towards these workers.”.

In addition to the World Cup sponsors, the football associations nationals they should too use your influence Y urge the authorities of FIFA and the Qatari government to publicly commit to creating a compensation fund to remedy the serious abuses against migrant workers that made the World Cup possible. FIFA should also support and contribute funding to initiatives designed to provide help and assistance to migrant workers, such as the Migrant Workers Center recommended by Building and Wood Workers International.

Sponsor responses

Following are responses from the four sponsors who expressed support for reparations for workers:

  • AB InBev/Budweiser, the beer brand that is an official sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, released a statement in which he stated: “We support access to procedures that allow fair reparations to be achieved for migrant workers who may have been negatively affected.”
  • Adidas published a statement in which he expresses his “support” for FIFA and the entity that organizes the Qatar World Cup, the Supreme Committee for the Organization and the Legacy, and referred to “all issues related to workers’ rights that arise from being host of the 2022 World Cup, including the measures required to provide redress and, if applicable, due redress for workers and their families who have claims that have not yet been addressed.
  • Coke responded to human rights organizations and manifested that it continues “to have discussions with sponsors and FIFA to discuss how best to move forward, building on the gains made in Qatar, to expand access to effective remedies for migrant workers”, and that it “encourages FIFA to continue the efforts made to date to include respect for human rights in the life cycle of this and future World Cup events, including effective structures to provide reparations.”
  • McDonald’s wrote: “We will continue to work with FIFA, human rights experts and the other sponsors to drive positive changes for human rights, including supporting processes that facilitate access to remedies, both in relation to the tournament and in the communities in which we have a presence.

Ten other FIFA World Cup sponsors and partners did not respond, despite having policies on respecting human rights and environmental, social and governance standards in their operations and business relationships. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights They make explicit the responsibilities of all companies to respect human rights, including by using their influence with business partners to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts.

The need to repair

In recent years, Qatar has introduced a series of reforms important after a forced labor complaint that was filed with the International Labor Organization, and the Supreme Committee for Organization and Legacy offered better protections for those building stadiums. However, serious labor abuses persist throughout the country and past abuses have not received adequate redress.

A report published by Amnesty International in May highlighted that FIFA failed to carry out any human rights due diligence in designating Qatar as the venue for the 2010 World Cup, despite the risks to workers they were widely documented. Subsequently, neither did it take timely and effective measures to mitigate those risks.

On May 19, a global coalition of migrant rights organizations, trade unions, fan groups, abuse survivors and human rights organizations urged FIFA to establish, together with Qatar, a comprehensive program to provide reparations for all abuses linked to the 2022 World Cup. To finance this initiative, FIFA should set aside an amount equal to at least the USD 440 million prize awarded to the teams participating in the tournament. With just two months to go before the competition begins, FIFA has yet to make a commitment to redress the abuses and says it is still considering the proposal.

“There is nothing that Qatar or FIFA can do to repair the loss of a loved one,” said Nick McGeehan, founding director of FairSquare, which investigates labor abuses against migrants. “However, financial compensation for families facing hardship from migrant worker deaths could provide some degree of financial relief and possibly reduce long-term damage.”

Expand existing mechanisms

Human Rights Watch has documented evidence that reparations can have far-reaching benefits for migrant workers and their families.

Since 2018, the Qatari authorities have established measures to protect workers from wage theft and expand their access to justice, but these do not benefit all workers or address abuses committed in the years before the systems were established. There are still significant deficiencies in the implementation and application of these measures. For example, workers who have already left Qatar cannot access the labor committees or to a fund set up to pay them when their employers don’t.

Sponsors, football associations and FIFA must use their influence over Qatar and put pressure on the authorities to expand and improve existing repair programs and systems in the country and, when necessary to address a large number of abuses committed in the past, establish effective complementary mechanisms to repair all the damages that have not been addressed.

Survey Background

YouGov conducted a survey involving 17,477 adults from Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Of these, 54% said they were likely to watch at least one World Cup match.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are provided by YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 17,477 adults. The field work was carried out between August 16 and September 6, 2022. The survey was conducted online. The figures are weighted and are representative of the adult population of all the countries included in the survey (over 18 years of age).


“Corporate sponsors have paid FIFA well over a billion dollars to be associated with the 2022 World Cup and they will not want their brands to be tarnished by human rights violations,” said Stephen Cockburn, director of Economic Justice and Social at Amnesty International. “It is clear what the public and their clients would like them to do: stand up for the rights of Qatari workers and demand reparations for all the workers who have suffered to make this tournament possible.”

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