Concerns over workers rights have dominated the build-up to Qatar 2022 ©Getty Images

Human rights group Amnesty International is among a coalition urging FIFA to commit $440 million (£352 million/€415 million) to compensate migrant workers who have experienced "human rights abuses on a significant scale" regarding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Amnesty International called on FIFA to take "immediate and decisive action to prevent further abuses of migrant workers engaged in World Cup-related projects and services."

The organisation said the governing body should ensure migrant workers and their families who have suffered receive "full and adequate remediation".

This would include establishing a programme to compensate migrant workers and reserving an amount not less than the World Cup prize money for compensation funds and programmes to protect workers’ rights.

Amnesty International is among 10 organisations to have signed a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, which calls for the establishment of a fund.

"Qatar, FIFA, the Supreme Committee and other actors including employing companies all bear a responsibility, independent of each other, to contribute financially to a remediation programme," the letter read.

"Paying for the scale of remedy for families of those who have died, to compensate for unpaid wages, to reimburse illegal recruitment fees, and to support initiatives to protect workers’ rights in the future will require a significant investment proportional to the abuses suffered.

"FIFA should reserve an amount not less than the $440 million (£352 million/€415 million) prize money offered to teams participating in the World Cup, to be invested in funds to support remediation.

"This would represent just a small percentage of FIFA’s anticipated $6 billion (£4.8 billion/€5.6 billion) revenues from the tournament and the $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion/€1.5 billion) it holds in reserves.

"This amount reflects a likely 'floor' for the scale of harm suffered and the need to invest in programmes to ensure that abuses are not repeated in the future.

"The final amount required for remedy will be determined by the scale of the need, the harms to be redressed and reparation measures to be offered, should be decided through a participatory process and subject to an independent evaluation."

Human rights organisations have called on FIFA to establish a compensation fund for migrant workers ©Getty Images
Human rights organisations have called on FIFA to establish a compensation fund for migrant workers ©Getty Images

The organisations acknowledged that progress had been made in strengthening protections for workers through reforms introduced by the Qatari Government and Qatar 2022 legacy initiatives.

The letter says the legal reforms have the potential to improve workers' rights across the country, if fully implemented.

The organisations say the reforms have come too late for many workers, with a fund required to compensate those who have suffered from abuse.

Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup has been heavily criticised, with the treatment of migrant workers having been a long-standing issue.

More than 95 per cent of Qatar's construction workforce is believed to be comprised of migrant workers from East Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia.

A Guardian report last year found that more than 6,500 labourers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka have died in the country since Qatar was controversially awarded the World Cup in 2010.

The reported directly linked 37 of these deaths to the construction of stadiums for the tournament.

FIFA has said it is "currently assessing the programme proposed by Amnesty International" and welcomed the acknowledgement of progress regarding Qatar’s labour reforms.

The FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18 ©Getty Images
The FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18 ©Getty Images

"When companies working in relation to the FIFA World Cup breach their obligations, FIFA and the Supreme Committee (SC) work to ensure the wrong is made right by the entity that caused the impact, usually the company employing the respective worker," FIFA said in a statement.

"As a consequence of the Workers' Welfare initiatives by the tournament organisers, countless workers have received remediation in various forms, including the payment of outstanding wages, the repayment of recruitment fees through the SC's universal reimbursement scheme and other forms of compensation.

"As part of the SC's effort to ensure repayment of recruitment fees, for example, workers have received payments of a total of $22.6 million (£17 million/€20 million) as at December 2021, with an additional $5.7 million (£4.5 million/€5.3 million) committed by contractors."

The Qatari Government claims it has made progress on labour reforms, including a shift away from the kafala system which forced foreign workers to seek their employers' consent to change jobs or leave the country.

The International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO) last month called for a Migrant Workers Centre to be established to ensure progress on workers’ rights is maintained beyond the FIFA World Cup.

The FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.