For the first time in the build-up to a FIFA World Cup™, a monitoring system is being implemented to ensure decent working conditions in the stadiums being built or renovated for the event. The kick-off visit of the initiative led by FIFA and the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) took place at the Luzhniki Stadium on 28 April, the World Day for Health and Safety at Work which was initiated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2003. Evaluation visits to 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums will be made on a regular basis from now on every three months.

FIFA and the Russia 2018 LOC appointed an independent third party, the Klinsky Institute of Labour Protection and Working Conditions, to monitor the working conditions in the ten FIFA World Cup stadiums under construction or undergoing major renovations. The refurbishment operation of the Luzhniki Stadium, the venue hosting the opening and final matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, is for example as challenging as building a stadium from scratch. Accordingly, the experts examined a variety of aspects at the facility including occupational health and safety, fire safety and industrial safety, employment contracts, recruitment and resignation procedures, wages and social benefits, labor conditions, working hours, workers’ rights and freedoms, as well as housing conditions.

“The LOC is acting within the framework of the Russia 2018 Sustainability Strategy, which was approved in 2015, and is systematically implementing measures on decent working conditions and health and safety,” said the LOC's Head of Sustainability Milana Verkhunova. “Our aim is to create and maintain decent working conditions and health and safety at World Cup stadiums construction sites. All stakeholders who are involved in the construction and renovation of the World Cup stadiums share this goal.”

Representatives from the Klinsky Institute familiarised themselves with health and safety documentation provided for workers by the general contractor and sub-contractors before inspecting the building site and its infrastructure and conducting interviews with managers and employees of the construction companies. The monitoring methodology for the 2018 World Cup has been drawn up in accordance with ILO conventions on decent working conditions that have been ratified by the Russian Federation, as well as in accordance with Russian laws and FIFA statutes.

“As part of FIFA efforts to further develop its human rights approach, we are very proud to have kicked off together with the LOC our own independent monitoring system at the Luzhniki stadium," said FIFA’s Head of Sustainability, Federico Addiechi. "It marks the start of a process which we believe will help us ensure that labour rights of construction workers are being respected at all FIFA World Cup stadiums in Russia."

The monitoring system is the result of efforts that began in September 2015 when the LOC and FIFA conducted a self-assessment survey of the companies building and renovating Russia 2018 stadiums, where working conditions, health and safety were addressed. The next step was an inspection of Saint Petersburg Stadium with representatives from the Building and Wood Worker's International and the Russian Building Workers Union in February 2016. In March, a workshop on decent working conditions and health and safety during the construction of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia stadiums was held with the participation of ILO and social partners.