World Cup And Qatar Research Paper


Qatar World Cup There is little doubt that the Doha skyline is one of the world's most impressive; Qatar is a great place to work if you are an architect. But if you are one of the people building those towers, Qatar may not be such a great place to work. The same goes for any of the two million foreign workers in the country -- some 94.1% of all employed in Qatar are foreign nationals (Bel-Air, 2014). The human rights abuses faced by the workers who work to keep Qatar running, especially in the construction sector, have come into even greater focus with the country being awarded the 2022 World Cup (Bel-Air, 2014). This paper will examine the human rights abuses of foreign workers in Qatar.

Migrant Workers in Qatar

The native population of Qatar is relatively small -- Qataris account for only a few hundred thousand of the country's 2.2 million population (CIA World Factbook, 2016). There were only 16,000 people in the country, mostly nomadic Bedouins, when the oil fields were first discovered in 1949 (Bel-Air, 2014). Even at this point, it was necessary to import Indian workers to help build out the gas industry, so the tradition of bringing over foreign workers began at that time.

The country is a small peninsula that juts into the Persian Gulf from the Arabian Peninsula and Saudi Arabia. Qatar owes its wealth to oil fields, and this wealth has created a robust economy. The local Qataris are generally well-taken care of, in the sense that they receive a stipend from the government, and basically need not work. Many choose to, but to keep the country running, Qatar (along with many other Gulf countries) is forced to import foreign workers. Most of the foreign workers come from India, Pakistan,

Foreign workers do pretty much everything in the country, save for some executive level positions, usually in government. The middle class workers typically do not face the worst of the abuses, but the uneducated, and particularly unskilled workers, face severe human rights abuses. Workers typically must...


This creates a situation where the employer holds considerable power over the worker, and many employers abuse this power. Workers are frequently denied rights to days off, freedom to move jobs, wages, and they are often forced to work in brutal conditions, such as working outside in the Qatari summer when temperatures approach 50C. Indoor workers such as maids faced physical and sexual abuse, as the likelihood of prosecution against a Qatari is very low (Falconer, 2014).
World Cup

The World Cup was controversially awarded to Qatar, to take place in 2022. The decision seemed absurd -- Qatar was bidding against Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States, all large countries with big populations and many stadiums. Qatar, on the other hand, is a small country with only a couple of stadiums, no soccer history, and temperatures in June when the World Cup is played are far too hot to play soccer safely. The bid seemed implausible, so winning was even more so. Qatar reported spend £117m on its World Cup bid, an unprecedented number (Sale, 2015). Corruption was a significant factor in Qatar winning the World Cup, and subsequently many officials were indicted, and FIFA leadership turfed from the game, for the corruption in connection with the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar (Fontevecchia, 2015).

Working Conditions

The corruption controversy has cast light onto Qatar's labor practices, especially where unskilled labor is concerned. Amnesty International is one of the human rights' groups that has studied Qatar. The system for foreign workers is that a sponsoring company brings them over, but this company will typically charge a fee.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Amnesty International (2016) Qatar: Abuse of World Cup workers exposed. Amnesty International Retrieved November 29, 2016 from

Bel-Air, F. (2014) Demography, migration and labour market in Qatar. Cadmus Exploratory Note No. 8. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from

CIA World Factbook (2016) Qatar. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from

Dodson, J. (2014) A rhetorical analysis of FIFA's media response to human rights abuses in preparation for the 2022 World Cup. University of Portland. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from
Falconer, R. (2014) Qatar's foreign domestic workers subjected to slave-like conditions. The Guardian. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from
Fontevecchia, A. (2015) Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid marked the beginning of the end for FIFA's Sepp Blatter. Forbes. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from
HRW (2015) Qatar: New reforms won't protect migrant workers. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from
Sale, C. (2015) Qatar spent £117m to win 2022 World Cup. Daily Mail. Retrieved November 29, 2016 from

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