World Cup 2022: Expert panel to explore how the world can hold Qatar to account on human rights

Since the World Cup 2022 competition was awarded to Qatar in 2010, FIFA has been met with criticism and accused of overlooking human rights violations when it made its decision.

It is the most controversial sporting event since the Moscow Olympics.

As we approach 100 days to go until it kicks off in November, marked with The Independent’s virtual panel event, human rights concerns continue to surround FIFA’s showpiece event.

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Concerns flagged by organisations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC), are far-reaching and include the country’s treatment of LGBT+ community and the rights of workers. Workers who will be staffing the event for tens of thousands of international travellers.

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Research recently released by BHRRC, showed most major brands have “limited understanding” of the situation or what they should be doing. The luxury hotel industry has been criticised for “not doing enough to end abusive recruitment practices” where workers pay exploitative fees to get a job.

Amnesty claims football’s governing body has failed “to put in place adequate processes” to prevent the problems since it was awarded the tournament.

As the world looks forward to the event, a panel of experts will explore – how can Qatar be held to account?

Hosted by The Independent’s international editor David Harding, the panel will include chief football writer Miguel Delaney, Isobel Archer, Gulf Programme Manager, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, former diplomat in Qatar James Lynch, founding co-director of human rights group FairSquare and Malcolm Bidali, a labour rights defender who was previously imprisoned in Qatar. The event will take place on Tuesday 9 August at 6.30pm and will last one hour.

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