WMA Resolution on Migrant Workers' Health and Safety in Qatar

Adopted by the 65th WMA General Assembly, Durban, South Africa, October 2014


Reliable reports indicate that migrant workers in Qatar suffer from exploitation and violation of their rights. Workers basic needs, e.g. access to sufficient water and food, are not met. Less than half of the workers are entitled to health care.  Hundreds of workers have already died in the construction sites since 2010 as the country prepares to host the 2022 FIFA[1] World Cup. Workers are not free to leave when they see their situation hopeless or health endangered since their passports are confiscated.

Despite the pleas of international labour and human rights organizations, such as ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) and Amnesty International, the response of the Qatar government to solve the situation has not been adequate. FIFA has been inefficient and has not taken the full responsibility to facilitate the improvements to the worker´s living and working conditions.

The World Medical Association reminds that health is a human right that should be safeguarded in all situations.

The World Medical Association is concerned that migrant workers are continuously put at risk in construction sites in Qatar, and their right to freedom of movement and right to health care and safe working conditions are not respected.


  1. The WMA calls upon the Qatar government and construction companies to ensure the health and safety of migrant workers;
  2. The WMA demands the FIFA as the responsible organization of the World Cup to take immediate action by changing the venue as soon as possible;
  3. The WMA calls upon its members to approach local governments in order to facilitate international cooperation with the aim of ensuring the health and safety of migrant workers in Qatar.

[1] Fédération Internationale de Football Association