World Cup 2022. Amnesty again asks Fifa to compensate foreign workers in Qatar

World Cup 2022. Amnesty again asks Fifa to compensate foreign workers in Qatar

On D-9, Amnesty International is not letting go. The NGO has again urged FIFA President Gianni Infantino to pay a financial compensation for immigrant workers who built the stadiums for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, on Friday in a column published in the French daily Le Monde.

Nine days before the start of the tournament, the NGO is renewing a request that it had already made in May, together with 24 other NGOs including Human Rights Watch, to remedy the ” abuse “ from which, according to them, the workers suffered. NGOs claim that many foreign workers, mainly from South and Southeast Asia, as well as Africa, have been exploited and abused.

“A remarkable silence: Gianni Infantino”

Workers complained of poor working conditions ranging from forced labor to hours worked but not paid, to an insufficient number of rest days. Some World Cup sponsors like Adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s supported the first appeal, and the Australian soccer team denounced in a video the mistreatment of workers who built or renovated the eight stadiums where the World Cup will take place .

“Amid this growing clamor, the most crucial voice of all has maintained a conspicuous silence: that of Gianni Infantino”regrets the secretary general of Amnesty International Agnès Callamard in the column published on Friday.

“Despite the private and public assurances of Fifa which claimed to study the proposal, Gianni Infantino, apart from a few platitudes, has constantly evaded the question. He still hasn’t responded to our joint letter.”she continues.

The President of Fifa recently stoked the anger of human rights associations by enjoining the 32 nations participating in the tournament to “focus on football”, in a letter the contents of which were revealed by Sky News on November 4. Infantino also urged the teams not to “give moral lessons”.

“Inaction”

If Callamard notes that Infantino ” had […] presided over a significant shift in world football’s governing body’s approach to human rights.”she qualifies the request of Italo-Switzerland as “gross and unequivocal attempt to exonerate FIFA from its responsibility for these human rights abuses and towards these workers”. “Fifa’s commitment to remedy the violations to which it contributes is nevertheless enshrined in its own policy”she recalls.

“Given the well-documented history of labor rights abuses in Qatar, Fifa knew – or should have known – of the obvious risks to workers at the time of awarding the World Cup to that country. »

In the column published on Friday, Amnesty criticizes the attitude of the country and of Fifa, which “like to repeat that a package of compensation measures would be complicated to develop and apply”. “Admittedly, the number of people involved and the scale of the violations make this commitment complex, but this cannot be used as an excuse for inaction or further delay”according to the NGO.

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“All we are asking at this stage is that FIFA make a firm commitment to compensate the victims of abuses and fund prevention programs, including a center where workers can learn about their rights and obtain assistance and legal advice, adds Agnès Callamard. All it takes is a simple stroke of the pen from Gianni Infantino. »