Migration + Labour
Human Rights and the Sports Industry
While the FIFA World Cup 2022 has ended, the Kafala system hasn't. The woes of the thousands of migrant workers living and working in Qatar remain unaddressed. We deconstruct some issues that will continue to plague workers living in the Gulf country unless something drastically changes.
From the World Cup to the Olympic Games, fans worldwide are thrilled by the spectacle of major sporting events. But not everyone involved has reason to celebrate.
The 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar raised this critique to a new level. The inhumane working conditions and glaring misuse of resources in the run-up to the event, along with the ongoing persecution of queer people in the country, raised fundamental questions about the sustainability of professional football.
In this context, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung embarked on a campaign to take a closer look at Qatar’s rampant exploitation of migrant workers, analyse gender discrimination on the pitch, and ask what Karl Marx would have said about the modern sports industry.
This video series looks at the geopolitics of Qatar and its history of sportswashing. We also look at how Qatar used sports to wield soft power and the hardships and abuse of rights migrant workers face. We also address the kafala system, reforms, and unionising in Qatar. We lastly look at the historical wrongs committed during earlier sporting events.
FIFA in Qatar —History of Sportswashing and Sports as an Instrument of Soft Power
Reclaim the Game: Abuse of migrant workers' rights in Qatar
Kafala, International Pressure and change
Unions make the fight possible
The dark underbelly of earlier sporting events
To know more about the issue, read our Reclaim the Game dossier and watch the video from our speakers’ tour, which was held to further sensitise people about the problems faced by migrant workers.