Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry.James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
November 18, 2022


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“Pay as little as 35p per hour” – Further concerns raised about treatment of security guards in Qatar on eve of 2022 FIFA World Cup

Further revelations regarding the treatment of security officers in Qatar at the 2022 FIFA World Cup indicate poor working conditions, lack of rest and pay as little as 35p per hour.

A report from The Guardian on the eve of the 2022 FIFA World Cup has once again raised concerns over the treatment of migrant workers – in particular security guards – in Qatar, the host country for this year’s premiere football tournament.


Security guards in downtown Doha, Qatar. Credit: Alan Gignoux/AlamyStock

According to the report, migrant workers being employed as security officers are being paid as little as 35 pence per hour. The workers are said to be stationed in Al Bidda Park, a green space next to one of the FIFA Fan Festival sites. They are not contracted by FIFA or deployed in the festival itself.

12-hour shifts, one day off a month, and low pay are some of the issues raised, following a Guardian investigation based on interviews carried out over the past few months with guards from Al Nasr Star Security Services, as well as analysis of workers’ pay notifications.

The report also shows how despite the poor working conditions and low pay, many of those employed by the company do not see an alternative, and “put up with it” because they need the money.

Qatari law and regulations limit weekly working hours to a 60-hour maximum, including overtime, with workers entitled to one paid rest day each week.

One camp that was visited by the Guardian, where the guards are housed, was said to feature “rooms with four bunk beds crammed end-to-end around the edge of a tiny space”, with beds shared with their belongings, “two large grimy kitchens and foul-smelling toilet cubicles stood outside”.

Shortcomings afflicting the lives of migrant workers

Ella Knight, Researcher on migrants’ labour rights at Amnesty International, commented that the findings were “another clear example of the shortcomings of the reform process and how remaining gaps in enforcement laws continue to afflict the lives of migrant workers in the country”.

Earlier this year, a report was released by Amnesty highlighting “systematic and structural abuse” of World Cup security workers in Qatar.

The human rights organisation documented the experiences of 34 current or former employees of eight private security companies working around infrastructure related to the build-up to the World Cup.

The security guards, all migrant workers, described working routinely 12 hour days, seven days a week.

In response to Amnesty’s allegations, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said it was committed to protecting the health, safety and security of those working on official World Cup projects.

READ: Declining payrates for door supervisors – “Rarely have so many, done so much, for so little”


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