Promoting the Rights of Migrant Workers Building Sports Arenas - Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI)

Mid-term external evaluation report for LO-Norway

Om publikasjonen

  • Utgitt: mai 2018
  • Serie: --
  • Type: Gjennomganger fra organisasjoner
  • Utført av: Ms. Asha Glynis d'Souza
  • Bestilt av: --
  • Land:
  • Tema: Menneskerettigheter
  • Antall sider: 21
  • Serienummer: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organisasjon: Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO-Norway)
  • Lokal partner: Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI)
NB! Publikasjonen er KUN tilgjengelig elektronisk og kan ikke bestilles på papir


The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO-Norway) has been supporting the Bulding and Wood Workers' International (BWI) in defending workers' rights among the migrants employed at the building of sports arenas in Qatar since 2015. (Infrastructure for 2022 World Cup in football).


To assess the performance and progress of this cooperation and to see whether the objectives are met thus far. To describe the strengths and weaknesses of the project and its partners. Time period covered: January 2015 – November 2017.


Data was obtained using personal interviews, Focus Group Discussions and observation.

Key findings

The main conclusion is that BWI has negotiated agreements with authorities in Qatar and with construction companies that have resulted in important improvements in working and living conditions for migrant workers.

LO's financial support to BWI for its work in South-Asia and Qatar has been modest but much needed to support pre-departure training in India and Nepal and organising on the ground in Qatar.

  • 200 affiliated unions of BWI have been actively involved at national level for the recognition of the rights of workers building the infrastructure in Qatar for 2022 World cup in football. 
  • Qatar government signed agreement with BWI that included joint inspections of stadiums and living quarters 
  • BWI concluded agreements with Qatar Diar Vinci construction company that allows workers representatives to negotiate with the employer. Two more agreements have been signed (Italian Salini Impreglio and Belgian Besix)  
  • The complaint made to the International Labour Organisation ILO was closed in November 2017 following important changes in Qatari labour legislation that ends the sponsorship system called kafala.  
  • The outreach of the liaison officers to the Filipino and South Asian workers is impressive

Based on fieldwork observation and discussions it is clear that the international pressure exercised by unions has contributed towards the more progressive labour legislation in Qatar. Facilitating its implementation is a guarantee of greater respect for workers' rights in the long run, not only in World cup related construction, but for all migrant workers in Qatar.


Some of the 20 recommendations:  

  • Affiliates in sending countries must inform the liaison officers in Qatar of new arrivals and offer services to those returning  
  • Create organisations of Nepali and Indian worker, and register them with the embassies  
  • Translate the Sports app into South Asian languages and use it for awareness raising and reporting of rights' violations  
  • Use the high-level contact with Qatari government to regularise the presence of liaison officers so they are not at risk  
  • Create a group of pro bono lawyers to represent workers in court 
  • Provide evidence of overcrowding and the unhygienic environment of labour camps 
  • Campaign for regular monitoring by large companies of working and living conditions provided by their sub-contractors and labour suppliers, suing observations made during joint inspections  
  • Gather information from workers about payment of recruitment fees and use the measures announced by the Qatari government to obtain reimbursement for them

Comments from the organisation

The evaluation has been discussed with BWI. Some changes will be made in the project in the coming period 2019-2022. BWI has sent some comments about details in the report.


Publisert 10.07.2018
Sist oppdatert 10.07.2018