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2022 World Cup hosts Qatar accused of 'modern slavery'

  • Reuters, Thursday, November 17, 2011 5:36 PM

International trade unions warned FIFA that migrant workers in Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, were subjected to conditions of "modern slavery." Soccer's world governing body responded that it would take up the issue with Qatari authorities and that labor rights would in future be included among the criteria considered when countries bid for the World Cup.

“We asked the FIFA secretary general (Jerome Valcke) if they wanted their stadiums to be built by slave workers, by exploited labor,” Ambet Yuson, general secretary of Building and Wood Workers International (BWI), told Reuters' Brian Homewood. "Ninety-four percent of workers are migrants in Qatar. It’s basically modern slavery.

“They are migrant workers from India, Nepal and Bangladesh; they go there and their passports are withheld, sometimes they don’t get paid their salaries or they are six months late and they have no other options. It’s terrible; I was there, their living quarters are really bad, it’s a bad situation.

“FIFA said they will use leverage, because Qatar wants the World Cup. We told them it’s serious and we are going to campaign. We said we want to see some action in six months.”

Read the whole story at Reuters »

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