The FIFA World Cup

FIFA is set to hold its 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar — bringing labor conditions and migrant workers, LGBTI rights and gender equality, freedom of expression, and other human rights issues to the top of the agenda. Just a year later, the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand will also open opportunities to advance human rights for migrants, LGBTI-identifying persons, and others.

Finally, preparations for United 2026 are already underway, set to be held jointly in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Though more is sure to come, advocacy efforts and negotiations for stronger workers’ rights and fair agreements with host cities, airports, and stadiums have already begun.

See the latest research and analysis on FIFA World Cup events below to learn more.

Qatar: Failure to Investigate Migrant Worker Deaths Leaves Families in Despair

Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions, Amnesty International said today. The organization’s new report, In the Prime of their Lives, documents how Qatar routinely issues death certificates for migrant workers without conducting adequate investigations, instead attributing deaths to “natural causes” […]

Qatar: Little Progress on Protecting Migrant Workers

Qatari authorities’ efforts to protect migrant workers’ right to accurate and timely wages have largely proven unsuccessful, Human Rights Watch said in a report and an accompanying video released today. Despite a handful of reforms in recent years, withheld and unpaid salaries, as well as other wage abuses, are persistent and widespread across at least 60 employers and companies in Qatar.

Sport & Rights Alliance Backs Human Rights Advisory Board Call for FIFA to be Accountable on Human Rights

FIFA should back its 2017 Human Rights Policy by ensuring accountability, transparency and remedy at the highest levels of football, a landmark report by FIFA’s independent human rights advisory board has recommended.

Qatar Dismantles Kafala System of Modern Slavery

Qatar’s programme of labour reforms today succeeded in dismantling the kafala system and heralding a modern industrial relations system. Exit visas for workers – including domestic workers, those in government and public institutions, and workers employed at sea, in agriculture as well as casual workers – have been eliminated. These workers have the same rights […]

ITUC, BWI and ITF Welcome End of Exit Permits for 1.5 Million Migrant Workers in Qatar

The ITUC, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have welcomed the announcement by Qatar on 4 September of new legislation which means migrant workers covered by the Labour Code will not have to seek their employer’s permission to leave the country. Law No. 13 of 2018 amends […]

FIFA – North America World Cup in 2026 a New Test for Human Rights

FIFA’s award of the 2026 World Cup to the “United” bid of Canada, Mexico and the USA will provide a further test of FIFA’s human rights commitments, with the inclusion of mandatory human rights requirements, including labour standards, in the bidding process. FIFA delegates meeting in Russia on 13 June chose the United bid ahead […]