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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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FIFA lauds Qatar’s commitment to workers

Football’s world governing body says World Cup hosts Qatar’s human rights commitment is unprecedented.
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Mahmoud Qutub, Executive Director (Workers Welfare), Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, speaking at the human rights conference in Berlin.Photo: SC

Even as Qatar reiterated its commitment to the welfare of workers building stadiums and other tournament infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup, the country earned high praise from the sport’s governing body for its dedicated action on the issue.

At a high-profile human rights conference in Berlin, titled ‘Sports Campaigning in the 2020s: Setting Strategies and Identifying Opportunities’, Federico Addiechi, FIFA’s Head of Sustainability and Diversity, said, “The case of Qatar is a positive example because we’ve all witnessed the evolution. We’ve not seen human rights commitment like this before on a World Cup programme. Everyone has a role to play, but if there’s any credit to be given it has to be given to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) for their clear commitment to identifying issues and solving them.”

Alongside Federico Addiechi on the panel discussion ‘Shifts and Goals: The Changing Global Sports Governance’, was SC’s Executive Director (Workers’ Welfare) Mahmoud Qutub.

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Mahmoud Qutub attending a panel discussion. Photo: SC

He highlighted the lengths to which SC had gone to bring about positive changes in workers’ welfare and deliver a legacy across Qatar and beyond. He detailed key initiatives taken by his department, including robust audit, inspection, compliance and enforcement standards, reimbursement of illegal recruitment fees, and improvements in workers’ accommodation and grievance mechanisms. Qutub also detailed the SC’s association with Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), the global trade union which was organising the conference.

“Since 2016 we’ve worked closely with BWI on enhancing the work we’ve been doing in protecting our workers,” he said.

BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson recognised the SC’s efforts, especially the introduction of Workers’ Welfare Forums to address grievances. 

“In the past several years our relationship with Qatar and FIFA has transformed. The conversation has moved forward and the collaboration continues,” said Yuson.