Written by 14 h 14 min International crimes

Vinci in Qatar : Sign the petition !



QATAR has embarked on major construction work in preparation for its hosting of the 2022 football World Cup. Human rights violations are being inflicted daily on the migrants working on these sites, and these violations have been condemned in many reports by organizations.

In In this context, the French group VINCI, which is represented by its Qatari subsidiary QDVC, has won millions of euros’ worth of infrastructure construction contracts. After conducting a detailed investigation in the field with support from the CGT (General Confederation of Labor) and the Building and Wood Worker’s International, SHERPA was able to gather devastating evidence and file a complaint on March 23, 2015, of forced labor and reduction to servitude against Vinci Construction Grands Projets (VCGP) and the French managers of its Qatari subsidiary, QDVC.

In the name of QDVC, VCGP promises that these construction workers (many of whom are subcontractors) are treated in accordance with international standards, but workers’ testimonials reveal a starkly different reality.

The migrants who were interviewed work eleven hours per day, six days a week, under a harsh sun and in average temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius, in violation of local and international laws. The salary is shameful considering the dangerous and difficult conditions on these construction sites.

The extreme poverty of these migrants is known to VCGP, which hires this manpower directly, but especially through subcontractors in order to derive economic profit.

“We don’t have any protection against the heat. We work in the sun. We don’t have air conditioning in the buses or in the camps.”

“On our site, four people died at work because they were working underground without appropriate protection—they inhaled toxic gas, didn’t get enough oxygen and died.”

The steady increase in heart attacks and accidents among the laborers working on building Qatari infrastructure has already been condemned by many organizations. Several testimonials report deaths and accidents linked to working conditions on QDVC sites.

In addition, the laborers who were interviewed are confined in camps, sometimes with eight of them in a single cramped room. Not all the camps have air conditioning or fans. They do not have kitchens or bathrooms that meet basic hygienic conditions.

Not only do the laborers work in disgraceful and dangerous conditions, but they are also trapped by the threat of reprisal by QDVC. The company confiscates passports, and the laborers are threatened with dismissal if they demand their right to better working conditions or accommodation, or if they wish to quit or change employers. They are thus required to accept working conditions that do not correspond to the compensation they receive. VINCI, a showcase of France internationally, cannot be blind to the seriousness of these components of forced labor and reduction to servitude.

“I’m trapped. QDVC took my passport. I can’t change employers.”

France cannot be a participant in a 2022 World Cup that is devoted to exploitation; it therefore must ask the French multinationals, which are as emblematic as Vinci, to serve as an example when it comes to human rights abroad. French consumers also have the right to use the VINCI group’s services without contributing against their will to the violation of fundamental rights. The law relating to the duty and vigilance of multinational corporations, which was approved by the National Assembly on March 31, must be approved by the Senate and implemented in order to make it possible to ensure that these crimes are not repeated.

Sign the petition and distribute it all around you; together we can battle against the impunity of the Multinationals and against economic crimes.
Let us incite
the Public Authorities to become aware of the gravity of the facts so that a judicial enquiry is opened and so that fundamental fights of the workers are respected on the construction sites of Vinci in Qatar.

By sending this petition to 5 of your contacts, you can make a difference.

Last modified: 29 October 2021