Amsterdam, Geneva, London – 16 December 2022 – Three international trade unions are today announcing the launch of a global digital platform to provide support for migrant workers who remain in Qatar after the 2022 World Cup and those employed at future international football competitions in other countries. Piloted in Qatar by Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and the International Domestic Workers’ Federation (IDWF), in partnership with global football player union FIFPRO, the information resource will be a lasting tool for migrants in a context where their employment rights and conditions remain at risk.
The digital platform, which is accessible via a mobile-phone app, is a contribution by the three global unions to help ensure continuous support for workers in Qatar and other migrant workers around the world. Designed by an experienced development team in consultation with migrants from different sectors, the platform will help ensure workers are able to easily access up-to-date information on their rights and employment laws and can obtain support when they need help.
As part of a shared vision over the last few years, the three unions have been seeking ways to help ensure a positive and sustainable impact for communities and people involved in the delivery of major football events. As its stands their call made for better implementation and monitoring of the recent labour reforms and the establishment of a Migrant Workers’ Centre in Qatar remains unanswered. Therefore, the digital platform announced today constitutes to date the only initiative made by and for the migrant workers to provide them with employment support after the 2022 World Cup.
Over the last year, more than 1,000 migrant workers were consulted on the initiative, expressed their needs, and provided input to create the digital platform that aims to provide them with easy-to-understand actionable information available in English, Arabic, Urdu, Bengali, Filipino, Hindi and Nepali. The app will also provide migrant community groups who speak these languages with access to training content and educational resources.
With the FIFA World Cup coming to a close on December 18, International Migrants Day, FIFPRO, BWI and IDWF remain committed to supporting the advancement of migrant workers’ rights and conditions. The global unions encourage collaborations from all stakeholders to ensure that the working conditions and fundamental human rights of all workers involved in and around football tournaments are respected and protected.
Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary, said: “Migrant construction workers are the backbone of the immense infrastructure efforts behind the FIFA World Cups, and especially Qatar 2022. Too many are still unaware of their rights introduced by reforms of the State of Qatar. Language barriers, lack of confidence, and fear make it even harder for migrant workers to know and claim their rights. By launching this new digital platform, we can help ensure migrant workers have the infrastructure they need, even beyond the Tournament.”
Elizabeth Tang, IDWF General Secretary, said: “No country is exempt from challenges in reaching domestic workers with services as so many live their lives invisible in public spaces. By helping make the private public, this platform will allow domestic workers to once again feel visible.”
David Aganzo, FIFPRO President, said: “On behalf of all football players in the world, FIFPRO fully supports the launch of this app which will give migrant workers from all sectors in Qatar help to resolve key questions that they might have about their employment. We are proud to have played our part in the development of the app, and we are confident our fellow trade unions BWI and IDWF will do a fantastic job in managing the app and providing robust advice and assistance to workers in Qatar, among other countries.”
Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, FIFPRO General Secretary, said: “We have had the privilege together with various football players to learn from and with the migrant workers community about how to improve their conditions. While many elements require further steps by government institutions and support by the international community, this app will increase access to information and the ability of workers to better understand and use the rights they have. The amended laws and improved conditions are often still inaccessible due to bureaucracy, a lack of education and abusive behaviour by many companies but workers are connecting and supporting each other a lot digitally so this app fills one gap. We are proud we can contribute and help workers shape their own legacy long after the end of the World Cup.”