Industry News

Qatar 2022 provides latest Workers’ Welfare progress report

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), which is responsible for the stadia and infrastructure of football’s Fifa World Cup in 2022, has published its workers’ welfare progress report.

The report, which covers the period of January 2016 to February 2017, highlights areas in which the SC has made progress with regards to workers’ welfare.

It discusses the challenges and sets out the key upcoming priorities for the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Division (WWD).

“Workers’ welfare is of critical importance to the work of the SC,” said H.E. Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi. “It has the potential to create a transformative and truly global social legacy for the first Fifa World Cup to be held in the Middle East.

“Today, we have around 13,000 workers on eight construction sites, with a total of 53 million man-hours worked,” added Al Thawadi.

“This has inevitably led to an expanded role for our Workers’ Welfare Division, which has widened its focus from improving accommodation standards to covering areas of site welfare, ethical recruitment, stakeholder engagement and workers’ outreach.

“This expanded scope was delivered while the team carried out 2,200 hours auditing ethical recruitment issues, 1,400 hours inspecting accommodations and over 1,000 hours inspecting construction sites, blacklisting three contractors and demobilising nine over workers’ welfare abuses.”

The report highlights how the WWD reached the appointment of Verité for advisory services and ethical recruitment audit training, as well as the appointment of Impactt as independent third-party monitor.

It discusses the cooling technology deployed to workers during the summer months, a grievance hotline to anonymously raise issues faced by workers and a partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine designed to monitor workers’ nutritional intake and identify prevalent health issues, such as hypertension and diabetes.

In addition, the report provides details around the two tragic work-related fatalities that occurred on SC projects during the period covered, including the procedural changes that have been introduced in response. The four non-work related fatalities SC contractors reported during the period are also discussed.

Khalid Al-Kubaisi, chief of the SC’s advisory unit, which oversees Workers’ Welfare, said: “We have made considerable strides forward in our protection of workers’ rights over the last 12 months and I am proud of the team’s efforts because they are making our bid promise of leaving a lasting positive social legacy a reality.

“However, there is still work to be done to ensure our Workers’ Welfare Standards continue to have a tangible impact on the ground and we are comprehensive in our attempts to tackle the myriad of issues facing migrant workers across the SC programme.”

Qatar’s first World Cup venue, the Khalifa International Stadium, opened last month and work is progressing at seven more sites.

Over 70 per cent of precast elements have been completed at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium, which is due to host a semi-final at the World Cup. The venue will also feature a retractable roof.