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The FIFA 2022 World Cup and Labour Rights - Seizing the Moment for Labour Law Reforms in Qatar

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The award of the 2022 World Cup football to Qatar is highly controversial because of the human and labour rights infringements due to the Kafala-system. The argument in this contribution is though that it has also brought something good, namely it created the momentum for change, in particular, to abolish the Kafala-system. It is difficult to enforce such change through judicial review, as is illustrated by the case FNV c.s. vs FIFA. Soft law procedures, on the other hand, which are based on dialogue, trust and commitment are able to set changes in motions, which is illustrated by the Art. 26 complaint initiated by twelve delegates of the ILO against Qatar and the Specific Instance with the Swiss NCP initiated by BWI against FIFA. This contribution describes the consequences of the Kafala-system, explains why FIFA also fulfils a role in this, even though it concerns the law of the sovereign State Qatar, describes three cases addressing the poor circumstances of the migrant workers in Qatar, and concludes that for these kind of situations soft law proactive processes may be more effective than hard law retrospective judicial review.

About the Author

B. Ph. Ter Haar
Leiden University
Russian Federation


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For citation:

Ter Haar B.P. The FIFA 2022 World Cup and Labour Rights - Seizing the Moment for Labour Law Reforms in Qatar. Kutafin Law Review. 2018;5(1):139-164.

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