How Qatar’s Migrant Workers Became FIFA’s Problem: A Transnational Struggle for Responsibility
Transnational Legal Theory, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2022
Date Written: January 25, 2022
Since 2012, and the attribution of the organisation of its crown jewel (and cash cow)–the FIFA World Cup–to Qatar, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has been facing public outrage. It has been accused of being linked to (and even encouraging) labour rights abuses suffered by the people who are literally building the World Cup in Qatar. This paper studies the transnational struggle aimed at forcing FIFA, a non-profit Swiss association, to take responsibility for these abuses and to use its leverage to remedy them. In particular, it highlights the legal and non-legal strategies used to turn the abuses faced by Qatar’s migrant workers into FIFA’s problem, it shows how FIFA used the UNGPs as a blueprint to frame its (limited) responsibility vis-à-vis those workers, and it assesses the (limited) impact of this acknowledgment of responsibility by FIFA on the working and living conditions of migrant workers in Qatar.
Keywords: Transnational law, transnational labour law, migrant rights, business and human rights, corporate social responsibility, UNGPs, FIFA, Qatar, World Cup 2022, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
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