Unions' human rights lawsuit against FIFA fails
The lawsuit brought against FIFA by Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress, backed by the Dutch union FNV, has failed
The lawsuit brought against FIFA by Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress, backed by the Dutch union FNV, has failed.
Reuters reports that a lawsuit brought against FIFA last year by labour unions – citing that the world soccer body had failed to use its power to safeguard the treatment of construction workers on 2022 World Cup facilities in Qatar – has failed.
In a previous statement FIFA stated that it welcomed the decision by the Commercial Court of Zurich around its “alleged wrongful conduct and liability for human rights violations”.
While the court could not immediately be reached for comment, FIFA also did not offer particulars on the case itself, Reuters reported.
The suit was filed by Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) on behalf of a Bangladeshi man who claims he was exploited in Qatar. The Dutch union FNV supported BFTUC in filing the suit.
Both called on FIFA to use its influence to force Qatar to implement “minimum labour standards” for migrant construction workers deployed on the 2022 World Cup projects. Among the demands was at least the right to leave a place of employment or exit the country.
While Doha remains steadfast in its denial of worker abuse or exploitation, citing measures undertaken to implement labour reforms, it continues to draw criticism of its treatment of foreign workers from Amnesty International, the Building and Wood Workers' International organisation and others.
Under Qatar's ‘kafala’ system, foreign workers are mandated to obtain employer’s approval to either change jobs or exit the country.
Last month the Qatar government passed a new law outlining reforms that would expedite the process for migrant workers to change jobs and leave the country.
However, human rights organisations dismissed the changes in the new law as negligible, saying that the changes would not end abuse or exploitation.
FIFA maintains that it monitors the situation closely as it took labour conditions in Qatar “very seriously” and “... will continue to urge the Qatari authorities to ensure safe and decent working conditions for construction workers”.