FIFA has faced criticism on human rights © PA Archive/PA Images
FIFA has faced criticism on human rights © PA Archive/PA Images

FIFA adds human rights standards into contracts

FIFA has added human rights and sustainability standards into the contracts associated with staging the World Cup.

The association said it made the move in response to criticism of human rights in the run-up to the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

The association’s statutes now say: “FIFA is committed to respecting all internationally recognised human rights and shall strive to promote the protection of these rights.”

In a new human rights policy FIFA says that while it directly employs several hundred people it is linked to workers through supply chains in construction of stadiums and infrastructure, the provision of accommodation and food and beverages or the production of licensed goods.

It said it seeks to ensure respect for labour standards by its business partners and throughout its supply chains.

In an Activity Update Report FIFA said it was working with unions to improve conditions on construction sites for World Cups.

“In recent years, FIFA has increasingly faced criticism in relation to human rights. Much of this criticism is focused on the human rights risks related to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups in Russia and Qatar,” said the association.

FIFA said that over the past year it had developed an action plan related to human rights risks associated with the Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

This involves quarterly inspection visits at each of the stadium construction sites, accompanied by representatives of the international trade union Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) and the Russian Construction Workers Union (RBWU).

Efforts also include the integration of sustainability criteria in the procurement processes for the tournaments.

In April 2017 the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee hired a sustainability senior manager to help implement sustainability.

Meanwhile, at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), which is responsible for delivering the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, more than a dozen experts are working on the protection of labour rights and occupational health and safety.

The SC has also developed a comprehensive set of workers’ welfare standards that are part of the tendering process and are contractually binding for all companies working on FWC construction sites.

FIFA said implementation of the standards is monitored by a four-tier monitoring system, including self-assessments by the contractors, audits by the SC, audits by an independent third-party and audits by the Qatari Ministry of Labour.

UEFA has also added humans right criteria into the bidding process for staging the championships.

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