Qatar and FIFA have been put under pressure to improve compensation to "abused" migrant workers and their families ©Getty Images

Human Rights Watch has called for FIFA and Qatar to improve the country's compensation to "abused" migrant workers and their families.

The activist group insisted that a "comprehensive remedy programme" should be established "for workers who suffered serious harms, including deaths, injuries, and wage theft" during their time working on World Cup-related projects, such as stadiums, transport and hotels.

It did not specify how much should be paid to those concerned.

Qatar has faced fierce scrutiny since winning the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup for its labour laws and the treatment of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who helped build the infrastructure needed to stage such an event.

While Human Right Watch acknowledged that several compensation systems have been introduced to mitigate these issues, it claims that it is not substantial enough to cover all workers or the abuse suffered.

"Qatar has compensated some migrant workers who have faced serious abuses in recent years, but for many, these programs were created too late and are still a major work in progress," Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said.

"It is critical for FIFA and Qatari authorities to publicly commit to providing compensation for workers and their families who suffered serious harm while making the World Cup possible."

Human Rights Watch research suggests that "a comprehensive, large-scale remedy program could benefit from existing records and compensation schemes in both Qatar and origin countries" even if it cannot address the scale of the abuse.

The organisation interviewed 16 migrant workers from several countries and another 13 people from companies and Government agencies who have knowledge of the current compensation schemes introduced by Qatari authorities, such as World Cup infrastructure body Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

The Supreme Committee has also told contractors to buy life insurance for their employees.

However, it is claimed large gaps remain and their beneficial effectiveness is limited because of their narrow scope, faulty implementation or the fact that they were introduced late.

The activists allege extensive wage abuses are continuing.

In June, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) held a conference where it highlighted positive labour reforms in Qatar.

A presentation contended a new minimum wage law had already increased the wages of 280,000 workers, legislation had been passed on working during high temperatures, as well as other reforms regarding overtime pay, termination, and conditions of employment for domestic workers.

It also declared that 14 Qatar visa centres have been set up in several origin countries, as well as joint-committees have been organised to allow worker participation in companies.

Qatari authorities have been criticised for how migrant workers have been treated ©Getty Images
Qatari authorities have been criticised for how migrant workers have been treated ©Getty Images

A Guardian report suggested 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.

Thirty-seven of these deaths were directly linked to the construction of stadiums for the tournament.

According to Human Rights Watch, Qatari authorities have not investigated the causes of deaths of thousands of the labourers and have labelled a large number of them "natural causes".

A coalition of 10 organisations, including Amnesty International, urged FIFA in May to committing to pay $440 million (£362.4 million/€428.7 million) to migrant workers who experienced "human rights abuses on a significant scale" connected to the World Cup.

Page reaffirmed that it is essential for migrant workers to be compensated.

"It is imperative for FIFA and Qatar to finally compensate the migrant workers for the abuses they suffered," Page said.

"If not, World Cup 2022 will be remembered for its legacy of unaddressed labour and human rights abuses."

The Qatar World Cup is now set to commence on November 20 following a late change from FIFA and is scheduled to conclude on December 18.