A UEFA delegation visiting Qatar to assess workers' rights says progress has been made but more work is needed ahead of the 2022 World Cup. Human rights issues in the host country have been under scrutiny since Qatar was awarded the tournament in 2010.
UEFA established a working group in May to work with FIFA on the issue. The visit came as Amnesty International published a report claiming "thousands" of migrant deaths have not been properly investigated.
Qatar has brought in migrant workers to help build the infrastructure ahead of the winter World Cup. In its 56-page report on Thursday, Amnesty called on the Football Association to press Qatar to strengthen protection for migrant workers.
After the 24 August visit, UEFA delegate Gijs de Jong said: "It is clear that Qatar has made significant positive progress with human rights legislation in the last three years. The challenge is the legislation is not yet universally adopted, and ... there is a need for further work."
UEFA's football and social responsibility director Michele Uva said: "All of us agree that football has the potential to create meaningful change in these areas and that's why we feel it is our duty that we engage strongly in this discussion." The working group's initial recommendations say suppliers contracted in Qatar should have strong consultation with workers committees and included a call to initiate a review into how football can help establish workers’ rights centres to leave an enduring legacy beyond the World Cup.
An FA spokesperson agreed with UEFA's assessment of the progress made and the work still needed in Qatar, and said the FA is in regular dialogue with Amnesty, Fifa, and the UK Foreign Office to stay informed of developments. Among areas of progress in the Gulf state are the introduction of a ban on outdoor work if heat and humidity reaches 32 degrees.
Amnesty is pushing for mandatory rest breaks and improvements in investigations and compensation of migrant workers' deaths. Further visits are planned before the tournament begins in November 2022 and post-World Cup in 2023.