Independent monitor appointed for Qatar 2022 workers

Foreign labourers leave the construction site of the Al-Wakrah stadium in Doha, Qatar, after finishing work on May 4, 2015 (AFP Photo/MARWAN NAAMANI)

Doha (AFP) - The under-fire organisers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup have appointed an independent monitor to oversee the condition of labourers working on sites for the tournament.

London-based company Impactt has been drafted in as a third-party to assess workers' welfare issues such as recruitment, working conditions and accommodation.

"In line with our continued commitment to making tangible progress on workers' welfare, this appointment of an independent third party external monitor is an important step for us," said Hassan Al-Thawadi, the head of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body overseeing organisation of the 2022 tournament.

"We will keep improving on every step of our journey as we make sure our approach to workers' welfare progress is transparent and our updated standards are effectively and stringently enforced throughout the entire supply chain and life cycle of our projects."

Last month Amnesty International said workers on the Khalifa International Stadium had suffered abuse and been subjected to forced labour.

Workers were lied to over their salaries, went unpaid for months and were housed in squalid accommodation, the London-based watchdog said.

It was the first time Amnesty had made a specific allegation of rights violations at a tournament venue.

Qatar has called the claims "misleading" and said it remained committed to the welfare of workers.

The country now employs about 5,100 workers on World Cup sites. Their number will peak at 36,000 by 2018.

Impactt describes itself on its website as "a leading consultancy specialising in ethical trade, human rights and labour standards".

The company's director Rosey Hurst said: "Our approach is to put workers at the centre of everything we do, as we work to understand how and why labour standards abuses occur, to support remediation for any individual whose rights have been infringed and to build systems and practices to support decent jobs for workers now and in the future.

"We are looking forward to applying these principles with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy when our engagement begins."