Built on Bones: Qatar World Cup construction workers die daily
Qatar World Cup ’slaves’: Fifa’s UK representative ’appalled and disturbed’
[...] The World Cup organisers have promised to hold all contractors due to work on the construction of the actual stadiums to a new code of conduct.
But critics of a system that has been likened to modern-day slavery point out that Qatar already has more robust labour laws than many other countries in the region, but they are often not adhered to by the web of contractors and subcontractors in a huge construction boom with tens of thousands of migrant labourers who are tied to their employer by law.
Meanwhile, the British government has offered to assist Qatar and other hosts of large sporting events to share the lessons of ensuring the "safety and security" of the construction of the venues and infrastructure for the 2012 Olympics.
"London 2012 had an outstanding record on safety and security both during the construction phase and when the Games were on," said the sports minister, Hugh Robertson.
"We stand ready to help with lessons learned and share best practice with future host cities and countries of major international sporting events. It’s also vital that international sports organisations remain vigilant and ensure that their selected hosts’ safety and security plans are completely robust."
The International Trade Union Confederation this week wrote to the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, to revisit the bid conditions for the 2022 World Cup to protect migrant workers.
It pointed out that in 2011 the Fifa secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, issued a statement in which he said: "Fifa upholds the respect for human rights and the application of international norms of behaviour as a principle and part of all our activities."
Tory MP Damian Collins, who has long campaigned for reform of Fifa, has said England and other nations should consider boycotting the World Cup if Fifa does not show it is taking concerns surrounding the Qatar tournament seriously.
He said Fifa should take a "very active interest" in preparations in Qatar, including "any construction work linked to the infrastructure and stadia".
In light of grave concerns about the treatment of migrant workers, and the debate about when the tournament should be played given the summer heat, he said football authorities should consider withdrawing from Fifa tournaments.
"I do wonder whether the FA should seriously consider whether the questions over it being moved, over human rights and over the huge disruption to the sporting calendar are so great that we should consider not playing," said Collins, who sought to form an international coalition of politicians to campaign for the reform of Fifa in the wake of corruption allegations that engulfed the organisation in 2011.
"Fifa only understands and respects money, so the only power the FAs have is to withhold from Fifa tournaments. If there are outstanding concerns over the calendar and human rights there should be a very serious debate about whether to play in the World Cup."