OPEN LETTER TO FIFA ON HUMAN RIGHTS & THE 2022 WORLD CUP
Dear Mr Infantino
We are writing as a global group of non-governmental
organisations, trade unions, players’ unions and fans groups working to defend
and promote human rights and transparency in sport, in relation to the
forthcoming FIFA Council Meeting on 14-15 March where proposals to expand the
2022 World Cup will be discussed.
Given the possibility that an enlarged 2022 World Cup could
potentially require additional countries to host the tournament, we remind FIFA
of the commitment
it has made to enshrine human rights, transparency and sustainability
criteria in its World Cup hosting and bidding process – something we welcomed
in 2017, in
addition to the adoption of FIFA’s Human Rights Policy.
As such, we call on you to publicly confirm that any
assessments of potential co-hosts for 2022 would follow a process that includes
these criteria, similar to that approved for
the 2026 World Cup. This would include, amongst other things, the same
requirement for any potential co-host to provide “guarantees of compliance with
international human rights and labour standards from the government and host
cities... as well as from the entities responsible for the construction and
renovation of stadiums, training sites, hotels and airport.”
Such an approach is necessary to meet FIFA’s commitments in
its own Statutes and Human
Rights Policy as well as its corporate responsibility to respect human
rights as elaborated in the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human
the hosting and bidding criteria, FIFA must ensure that it identifies and
assesses the specific human rights risks of each potential host country,
including whether or not they can be prevented or mitigated, and obliges
potential hosts to develop a corrective action plan under FIFA’s leadership.
With respect to additional hosts in the Gulf region,
specific human rights risks relevant to the hosting of the World Cup that FIFA
must consider include exploitative labour systems that make migrant workers
vulnerable to abuse; discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and
religion; as well as restrictions on the rights to freedom of peaceful
assembly, association and expression, and threats to human rights defenders.
We believe that the application of FIFA’s Human Rights
Policy and its bidding and hosting criteria have the potential to play an
important role in preventing and mitigating human rights abuses and violations
in connection with one of the world’s biggest sporting events. We urge you to
publicly confirm that they will be implemented in full.
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