Amnesty International has urged Fifa to put pressure on Qatar to improve conditions for labourers working on venues for the 2022 World Cup. Construction workers from some of the world's poorest countries, including Nepal and Bangladesh, are charged recruitment fees by agents in their home countries, housed in squalid accommodation and barred from leaving the country by employers in Qatar who confiscate their passports, Amnesty said in a report.

Qatar World Cup workers
A Nepalese labourer working in Qatar stands outside his room at a private camp housing foreign workers in Doha on 3 May 2015Marwan Naamani/AFP

Amnesty interviewed migrant labourers, who said they went into debt to pay recruitment fees — illegal under Qatari law — ranging from $500 to $4,300 to secure work. Most discovered on arrival that they would be paid less than promised by recruiters back home. Some of those interviewed reported earning basic salaries of well below $200 a month, plus allowances of around $50 a month for food.

Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty's Gulf migrant rights researcher, acknowledged that Qatari authorities have taken some steps to improve labour conditions, but said they must put far more priority on the issue as preparation for the games intensifies. The government has made changes, including moving some labourers into improved accommodation and instituting a "wage protection system" to tighten oversight of salary payments. It says it is committed to doing more, calling its reform efforts a "work in progress." It said in a statement that worker welfare is a top priority.

New accommodation area for workers show clean dormitory areas with privacy curtains around the beds, plus gleaming bathrooms, a brand new medical centre and a gym.

Qatar World Cup workers
Workers return home to Labor City, where accommodation has been built to house 70,000Warren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
Beds with privacy curtains in Labour CityWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
Bathroom facilities at Labour CityWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
A gym inside Labour CityWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
The Grand Mosque in Labour City, the second largest mosque in DohaWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
The new Medical Centre offering vital medical services to Labour City's 70,000 construction worker residentsWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
An internet cafe inside Labour CityWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
Migrant workers play cricket during a breakWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
Labourers pose during a game of football at Labour CityWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
Laundry is hung out to dry in Labour CityNaseem Zeitoon/Reuters

These pictures are a far cry from the photos taken in a private workers' accommodation area a year before. These pictures showed filthy kitchens and dormitories, with workers crammed together on bunk beds with no privacy. It is unclear how many workers still live in these conditions.

Qatar World Cup workers
Labourers' accommodation is pictured in Sanaya Industrial Area in Doha on 28 March 2014Reuters
Qatar World Cup workers
A labourer sits on his bed in a dormitory in the Sanaya Industrial Area in Doha on 3 May 2015Reuters
Qatar World Cup workers
A filthy kitchen is seen in a private camp housing foreign workers in Doha on 3 May 2015Marwan Naamani/AFP
Qatar World Cup workers
A labourer is pictured in a dormitory in the Sanaya Industrial Area on 3 May 2015Reuters
Qatar World Cup workers
A labourer rests in a foreign workers' dormitory site in the Sanaya Industrial Area in Doha, on 3 May 2015Reuters
Qatar World Cup workers
Kupttamon, an Indian labourer working in Qatar, washes his blankets at a private camp housing foreign workers in Doha, on 3 May 2015Marwan Naamani/AFP
Qatar World Cup workers
An Indian labourer walks past uniforms hanging outside rooms at a private camp housing foreign workers in Doha, on 3 May 2015Marwan Naamani/AFP

Seven Nepalese men who worked on Khalifa Stadium for a subcontractor told Amnesty they had wanted to return home to check on their families after the earthquakes that hit Nepal in 2015 but their employer did not allow them to leave.

The Amnesty report pointed to abuses by small sub-contractors who do not appear to have been vetted by the tournament's organisers. The watchdog group said staff from one labour-supply firm threatened to withhold pay and report workers to police to exact labour from migrants. Amnesty said it interviewed 132 workers involved in the rebuilding of the Khalifa stadium, a vast sporting complex in Doha that is part of a $200bn construction boom in the gas-rich Gulf state that will host a World Cup quarter-final.

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A view of the construction work at the Khalifa International Stadium in DohaNaseem Zeitoon/Reuters
Qatar World Cup workers
An artist's impression of Khalifa International StadiumSupreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy via Getty Images
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An artist's impression of Al Bayt StadiumSupreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy via Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
An artist's impression of Al Rayyan StadiumSupreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy via Getty Images
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An artist's impression of Qatar Foundation StadiumSupreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy via Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
An artist's impression of Al Wakrah StadiumSupreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy via Getty Images
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Construction workers are pictured on the Khalifa International Stadium siteWarren Little/Getty Images
Qatar World Cup workers
An Indian labourer works on Khalifa International StadiumWarren Little/Getty Images

The head of Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy agreed that Amnesty had identified challenges in worker conditions, but said Doha was working to reduce these kinds of abuses which he said occur on construction sites all over the world.

Since winning the World Cup in 2010, Qatar has spent tens of billions of dollars on a new port, metro system and airport. Hundreds of thousands of south Asians were recruited and they account for 94% of the 2.1 million population.