News

Launch of Vital Signs project

New initiative to study deaths of migrant workers in the Gulf

FairSquare is launching the Vital Signs project, a new initiative to quantify and research the deaths of migrant workers in the six GCC states.

Nobody knows the true figure for many migrant workers die in the Gulf, or the causes of their deaths. But available statistics indicate it is many thousands of people every year, a large majority of working age.

Vital Signs, which is being supported by Humanity United, will run from 2021 to 2023. Each year of the project will see the publication of a statistical report, examining key trends related to the deaths of migrant workers from five Asian origin countries – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines – in the Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The reports will make tailored recommendations to governments and others.

Find out more about the Vital Signs project

Business and human rights in Saudi Arabia

Guidance for businesses operating in Saudi Arabia

FairSquare has collaborated with Amnesty International on the production of new guidance for businesses operating in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has been seeking support from international investors and businesses to help deliver its flagship Vision 2030, with its expansive development plans capped by a set of “giga-projects” designed to spearhead the development of whole new economic sectors.

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New FairSquare Policy Brief on migrant workers in Saudi Arabia

New Policy Brief on migrant workers in Saudi Arabia

In a new policy brief released this month, FairSquare finds that the issue of migrant worker rights is likely to become ever more salient for the Saudi Arabian government in coming years.

With hundreds of thousands of migrants needed to construct the giga-projects that sit at the heart of the Crown Prince’s Vision 2030 strategic plan, international attention on this issue is certain to increase in the coming years. Until now migrant workers’ rights have rarely been given prominence, as external focus on the country has mainly centred around freedom of expression, women’s rights and the death penalty. Now flagship projects like Neom, the Red Sea Project and the leisure city of Qiddiya are likely to change all that.

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FairSquare on Qatar’s labour reforms

Implementation the key for Qatar’s migrant labour reform

In an article written for Migrant-Rights.org, FairSquare director James Lynch has called on Qatar to accompany its reformed kafala (sponsorship) law with simple procedures and effective enforcement:

“This appears to be a significant step forward and goes beyond what any other Gulf country has attempted in terms of introducing labour mobility for migrant workers.  If (and only if) this change is accompanied by simple procedures for workers to follow and rigorous enforcement, it will make a tangible difference to workers’ rights. It will also be in the interest of responsible businesses. Employers that respect their employees’ rights and pay decent wages should start to gain a competitive advantage.”

FairSquare additionally stresses that workers’ rights don’t begin and end with kafala and urges the government to follow up this reform with measures on wage theft and working conditions, to protect the rights and safety of migrant workers.


Premier League: Adopt Human Rights Policy

The English Premier League should respect human rights throughout all of its operations, including as it evaluates a bid by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to acquire Newcastle United FC, Human Rights Watch and FairSquare Projects said today. The Premier League and the Football Association should consider adopting a comprehensive human rights policy in line with the policy put in place by FIFA in 2017.

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Premier League should reject Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle FC

Call to disqualify proposed Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United FC

The Saudi-backed bid to take over Newcastle United FC should not be allowed to proceed, FairSquare has told the Premier League. In a letter to the League’s Chief Executive, the organisation argues that the conduct of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince – including in relation to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 – should be enough to disqualify the bid:

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Covid-19 and migrant workers in the Gulf

NGO coalition calls on Gulf states to ensure protection of migrant workers during Covid-19 response

A coalition of trade unions and NGOs, including FairSquare Projects, has called on the Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to take steps to ensure that migrant workers receive adequate protection from Covid-19.

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FairSquare to take part in Toronto Quayside preliminary HRIA

FairSquare Research has been selected, as part of a consortium, to carry out the preliminary human rights impact assessment of Quayside Project in Toronto.

Element AI, a Montreal-based artificial intelligence company, is leading the consortium, which also includes Ravi Naik, a respected litigation and subject matter expert in privacy, data protection and human rights. The preliminary human rights impact assessment has been commissioned by Waterfront Toronto.


Liverpool FC and worker deaths in Qatar

Liverpool FC backs FairSquare call for investigations into worker deaths in Qatar

Liverpool Football Club have supported calls by FairSquare for thorough investigations into the deaths of migrant workers in Qatar.

In a letter to FairSquare, ahead of Liverpool’s appearance at the Club World Cup in Qatar, the club’s Chief Executive said:

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Launch of the Five Corridors Project

FairSquare launches fair recruitment research project

In partnership with Open Societies Foundation and Humanity United, FairSquare Projects is embarking on a major research project on the fair recruitment of migrant workers.

The Five Corridors Project aims to enhance understanding of how governments can strengthen regulatory and enforcement mechanisms to address abusive and fraudulent recruitment practices, resulting in more positive outcomes for workers.

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