In the lead up to the FIFA Congress in Rwanda, UNI is joining with seven other global unions in sending a message to the world football’s governing body and the Qatari government that widespread workers’ rights abuses in the Gulf nation must end.

The unions say that as the 2022 World Cup approached, “progress on implementing labour law changes slowed down, employer lawlessness increased, and dialogue on cooperation with some Global Union Federations and migrant workers came to an abrupt halt.” Additionally, unscrupulous employers are breeching the new protections put in place before the World Cup, as scrutiny and enforcement have waned without the spotlight brought by the tournament.

“It is important that Qatar understand that even though the World Cup is over, the global labor movement will not turn its back on the migrant workers of Qatar. A commitment to the fundamental rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining is long overdue and the steps towards ‘reform’ leading up to the World Cup must become more than hollow public relations,” said Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union’s General Secretary. “FIFA must also be held to account for its promises around human rights.”

UNI joined the Building and Wood Workers International (BWI); Education International (EI); IndustriALL; International Federation of Journalists (IFJ); International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF); Public Services International (PSI); and the International Arts and Entertainment Alliance (IAEA) in signing the statement, which can be downloaded below.