Oil fund's watchdog probes Qatar labor scandal

The investigation may lead to recommendations for the fund to divest from companies or pull investments from projects including the soccer competition in Qatar. It all started as a direct consequence of previous findings connected to the World Cup.

The Council on Ethics of the Government Pension Fund Global discovered recruitment practices that put workers in debt in their home countries as they paid for necessary permits, health checks and other expenses. | Photo: Pexels: Ramaz Bluashvili.

Criticism of Qatar's treatment of workers building stadiums for the soccer World Cup in 2022 has prompted the Norwegian wealth fund's ethics council to investigate questionable labor practices more broadly.

The USD 1.3trn fund's ethics council has launched a probe covering a broad geographical area stretching from the Gulf states to the "electronics industry in Malaysia," according to Johan H. Andresen, who chairs Government Pension Fund Global's Council on Ethics, which oversees the sovereign wealth fund's investments.

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