(WFI) Days after Amnesty International blasted Qatar 2022 for abusing migrant workers, organizers have appointed a watchdog to monitor the welfare of labourers working across the project.

Qatar Foundation Stadium (SC)

Impactt Ltd is touted as a third party external monitor “to further bolster the auditing and inspections process of the Workers’ Welfare Standards”. Amnesty last week criticized Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, overseeing the billion-dollar World Cup construction efforts, for failing to enforce standards and the government for sluggish reforms of its kafala sponsorship system of tied employment.

The second edition of the Workers’ Welfare Standards, published March 1, sets out the Qatar 2022’ss requirements regarding the recruitment, employment, living and working conditions of everyone engaged on a World Cup project. It was developed in close consultation with stakeholders including contractors and FIFA.

Qatar 2022 chief Hassan Al Thawadi said that the new workers’ watchdog Impactt was important to “our continued commitment to making tangible progress on workers’ welfare”.

“We will keep improving on every step of our journey as we make sure our approach to workers’ welfare progress is transparent and our updated standards are effectively and stringently enforced throughout the entire supply chain and life cycle of our projects,” he said.

Impactt director Rosey Hurst said: “Our approach is to put workers at the center of everything we do, as we work to understand how and why labor standards abuses occur, to support remediation for any individual whose rights have been infringed and to build systems and practices to support decent jobs for workers now and in the future.”

Last week, Amnesty said migrant workers building Qatar’s showpiece Khalifa International Stadium have been forced to live in squalid and cramped accommodation, while some contractors have withheld pay, confiscated passports and refused exit visas.

In response, Qatar 2022 admitted there were challenges in worker conditions during early 2015 but significant improvements had since been made.

“We have always maintained this FIFA World Cup will act as a catalyst for change – it will not be built on the back of exploited workers,” organizers said in a statement. “We wholly reject any notion that Qatar is unfit to host the FIFA World Cup.”

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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