The report is based on interviews with 132 migrant construction workers rebuilding Khalifa stadium, set to be the first stadium completed for the tournament and slated to host a World Cup semi-final in 2022. A further 99 migrants who were also interviewed have worked in landscaping the green spaces in the surrounding Aspire Zone sports complex, where Bayern Munich, Everton and Paris Saint-Germain players trained this winter.
Every single construction and landscape worker who spoke to Amnesty reported abuse of one kind or another, including:
Being forced to live in squalid and cramped accommodation
Being required to pay large fees ($500 to $4,300) to recruiters in their home country to obtain a job in Qatar
Being deceived as to the pay or type of work on offer (all but six of the men had salaries lower than promised when they arrived, sometimes by half)
Not being paid for several months, creating significant financial and emotional pressures on workers already burdened with heavy debts
Employers not giving or renewing residence permits, leaving people at risk of detention and deportation as “absconded” workers
Employers confiscating workers’ passports and not issuing exit permits so they could not leave the country
Being threatened for complaining about their conditions.
Amnesty uncovered evidence that the staff of one labour supply company used the threat of penalties to exact work from some migrants such as withholding pay, handing workers over to the police or stopping them from leaving Qatar. This amounts to forced labour under international law.
The workers, mostly from Bangladesh, India and Nepal, spoke to Amnesty in Qatar between February and May last year. When Amnesty researchers returned to Qatar last month, some of the workers had been moved to better accommodation and had their passports returned by companies responding to Amnesty findings, but other abuses had not been addressed.