July 29, 2014

FIFA President discusses improvements to migrant rights with Qatar

The Emir of Qatar met with Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Sepp Blatter last week to discuss improving migrant workers’ rights.

FIFA published a statement on Wednesday saying that “ongoing reforms of labor rights” were discussed with the 2022 World Cup host nation.

In light of recent campaigns highlighting unsafe working conditions in the nation, Qatar was praised for its “commitment to use the 2022 FIFA World Cup to achieve positive social change.”

Issues cited include unpaid salaries and contracts which tie workers to employers.

Debates are ongoing as to whether the costs of hosting mega sporting events actually pay off. Peter Sloane discusses the arguments on both sides, including direct economic outcomes and indirect factors that are sometimes difficult to quantify, such as national mood.

Further kindling will be added to the debate if changes do take effect in Qatar, which would demonstrate a huge economic and social benefit brought on by hosting a sporting event.

It is important to consider the benefits that migrant workers can bring to labor markets, as proven by a wealth of IZA World of Labor articles. Paul Spoonley discusses how superdiverse nations can benefit from increased worker productivity and innovation, and Abdurrahman B. Aydemir notes how effective migrant selection can increase skill levels in the workforce. Murat Genç also notes how migration can improve international trade.

Read more here.

Related articles:
Does it pay to host mega sporting events? by Peter Sloane
Superdiversity, social cohesion and economic benefits, by Paul Spoonley
Skill-based immigration, economic integration, and economic performance, by Abdurrahman B. Aydemir
The impact of migration on trade, by Murat Genç