Friday, 27 February 2015

Qatar's World Cup Slavery

Last year one worker died every two days during construction work for Qatar's 2022 World cup.
Qatar's guest worker program lures workers from Nepal and Sri Lanka promising good jobs.  Instead they end up working excessively long hours in scorching 50 degree heat, are denied sufficient food and water and barred from escaping home due to their passports being held and confiscated by abusive bosses.  They are modern day slaves.

A major part of the project is managed by an American company called CH2M Hill who's CEO is Jacqueline Hinman.  CH2M Hill claim that local contractors and Qatari government laws are to blame for the horrific working conditions but they will obviously have some power and leverage and should be taking some responsibility to prevent seven more years of worker deaths.  On current form there might be over 1200 more deaths due to working conditions by the time the world cup kicks off in seven years.  Clearly it's in the interest of many involved to keep this quiet.

There is a petition you can sign to pressure CH2M Hill who are the public face of World Cup construction to speak out and change things.  If the spotlight is put on this issue hopefully they will question their interests and in turn lead other companies to do the same and stop this modern day slavery.
The petition is hoping to reach at least 1 million names and will be delivered directly to CH2M Hill's CEO Jacqueline Hinman and to the Qatari government.
 Sign it

"As global citizens, we're deeply concerned by the conditions migrant workers in Qatar are forced to work under for the 2022 World Cup. We urge you to put in place a public policy that ensures every worker on World Cup sites can keep their passports, are granted exit visas, and protected with basic rights and safeties. We also call on the Qatari government to reform its "guest" worker programme and allow any foreign labourer the right to return home. These changes would inspire global confidence in Qatar and CH2M Hill, and have a dramatic impact on the 1.4 million migrants working in the country."

Info sources:

Death toll among Qatar’s 2022 World Cup workers revealed (The Guardian)

Building a Better World Cup (Human Rights Watch)

At a Qatar Project Overseen by Americans, Workers Die Almost Daily (Bloomberg)

Qatar accused of dragging its feet over treatment of migrant workers

Qatar risks losing World Cup without job reform (Reuters)

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