KENYA GOVERNMENT AND KENYA FOOTBALL FEDERATION MUST ACT ON GLOBAL POLL THAT CALLS ON FIFA TO COMPENSATE MIGRANT WORKERS
NAIROBI, 15TH SEPTEMBER 2022: In the wake of the horrific treatment of Diana Chepkemoi and other Kenyan migrant workers employed and mistreated in the Gulf countries, a new poll finds that 93 per cent of Kenyans want FIFA to compensate migrant workers who have suffered in preparation for the 2022 World Cup.
“Migrant workers in Qatar have been failed by the institutions and policies designed to uphold their welfare. Existing laws and policies that guarantee migrant workers’ rights are not being enforced by the Qatari state, the Kenyan embassy, or the Qatar Office of the ILO. The horrific treatment of migrant workers like Diana Chepkemboi at the hands of Saudi Arabian employers must stop. If we miss the opportunity of the international spotlight on the FIFA World Cup, things will only get worse.” says Migrant Defenders Co-Founder and former migrant worker Malcolm Bidali.
Supporting migrant rights activists like Bidali, Amnesty International and partners in the #PayUpFIFA coalition are demanding FIFA set aside US$440 million – the equivalent it hands out in prize money at the World Cup – to compensate migrant workers. The amount is a fraction of the estimated US$6 billion in revenue from the tournament.
“President Ruto’s announcement that diaspora issues are now ministerial level concerns must start with an audit of the human rights conditions of Kenyan migrant workers in Gulf countries. The incoming Labour Ministry must now regulate and oversee the recruitment agencies and ensure Gulf countries are aligned to bilateral labour agreements and laws protecting migrant workers. The new Government must also ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.” says Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton.
Supported by Amnesty International Kenya and Migrant Defenders, Kenyans are calling on the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) to join the 2022 Qatar World Cup campaign to accelerate initiatives to protect workers’ rights. This must include measures to protect and compensate, such as reimbursing unpaid wages, extortionate recruitment fees and compensation for injuries and deaths.
Migrant Defenders Co-Founder
Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director
- The global #PayUpFIFA opinion poll and report can be found here
- The #PayUpFIFA campaign argues that national Football Associations are responsible under international human rights standards to support remedy for migrant workers given their participation in the World Cup. Belgian, Danish, Dutch, English, German, and Norwegian football associations have expressed support for the principle of compensation. However, no football association has publicly called on FIFA to establish such a remediation programme. The Kenya Football Federation is yet to voice its concerns and indicate its support.
- In the absence of sustained official advocacy, FIFA has issued no public response to date. FIFA’s response to Amnesty International’s report on remedy in May 2022 is included in the report’s Annex. The report was accompanied by an open letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino from Amnesty International and a coalition of human rights organizations, unions, and fan groups.
For more information and interviews, contact Mathias T. Kinyoda on Mobile: +254723424802 Email: [email protected]