FairSquare investigates and challenges the causes of human rights abuses, drawing on our expertise in research, communications and advocacy. We work at the nexus of authoritarianism, sport, and labour migration.
1. Exploitation of migrant workers.
More and more people are migrating for work each year, making a vital contribution to wealthy societies and economies. Yet migrant workers continue to face exploitation and discrimination in the countries that host them. We are part of the Vital Signs Partnership, which highlights the poor access to health and high unexplained death rates of migrant workers in Gulf states. The partnership’s aim is to make the these issues a political priority in origin states and in the Gulf and ensure better protection for workers exposed to the increasingly harsh climate. We have a longstanding body of work on the rights of migrant workers in Qatar, in the context of the 2022 World Cup, and have also published research on Saudi Arabia. We led the Five Corridors Project, a major piece of research into the role of nine governments in ensuring fair recruitment of migrant workers. In the UK, we are part of the Seasonal Worker Interest Group.
2. Accountability in sport.
The FairSquare team has worked for years on the intersection of sport, business and geopolitics, with a particular focus on research and advocacy related to the Gulf region. Sport has the potential to play a transformative, positive role in society, supporting the development of more cohesive, empowered and active communities. All too often, however, its power is misappropriated and exploited in a way that leads to significant and systematic harm, and the escalating financialisation of sports like football, allied to weak governance structures, makes sport increasingly susceptible to capture by authoritarian states. FairSquare is working to reverse this trend and to ensure better, more democratic governance to prevent sporting institutions and competitions contributing to harm and suffering.
3. Authoritarianism and democracy.
Authoritarian ideology is on the rise, with democratic systems and institutions under threat. In already autocratic states, the very limited room for dissent is being squeezed to new extremes. Organisations working on labour rights or business and human rights sometimes steer clear of civil and political rights. We take the opposite approach: our work should interrogate and challenge power. We flag the risks posed by the use of soft power and institutional capture by authoritarian states, and we provide advocacy and other support to those confronting autocrats directly.
About the organisation.
FairSquare Projects is a non-profit organisation registered in London. We work with a range of donors including Humanity United, Open Society Foundations, Porticus, the Energy Transition Fund and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation.
The sister company of FairSquare Projects – FairSquare Research Ltd – can provide consultancy services, producing research, policy and legal analysis for NGOs, media organisations and, depending on the nature of the request, the private sector.