DOHA, Qatar – A senior U.N. envoy is urging Qatar to take immediate steps to improve housing conditions for migrant laborers building projects including venues for the 2022 World Cup in the energy-rich Gulf nation, describing one housing compound as "slum-like."
The visit by Francois Crepaeu, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on human rights of migrants, follows talks between FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Qatari officials on issues that include greater safeguards for the country's mainly South Asian laborers.
Rights groups for years have pressured Gulf officials to improve conditions for laborers and end practices such as workers paying high fees to recruitment agencies.
Crepaeu told reporters Sunday that the World Cup puts added emphasis on expanding worker rights. He called one housing site "a dump" and urged for quick improvements.