The Newsmakers

World Cup Controversy

With summer temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius and excessive working hours outdoors, migrant laborers building infrastructure for the 2022 Qatar World Cup face conditions that have horrified human rights groups- and just about everyone else- including football players. A recent report in the Guardian newspaper claimed 6500 migrant workers have died in the ten years since FIFA awarded Qatar the prestigious sporting event. Everything from seven new stadiums to a new airport needed to be built from scratch- and hundreds of thousands of mostly South Asian manual laborers would be imported to do the work. A few years ago, Amnesty International began investigating abuses of migrant workers that make up 95% of the country's labour force. They took aim the 'kafala' sponsorship system, which indentures workers to their employers, leaving them vulnerable to forced labour, unpaid wages, and with no chance to leave their job or the country. So as the World Cup qualifiers begin, players are speaking out from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands, to Denmark. Shows of solidarity and even talk of boycotts have emerged, but any action taken now would be too late for the thousands who've already died and the millions potentially still at risk of abuse in construction and domestic work across the Gulf. Guests: Max Tunon Specialist at the International Labour Organization Nicholas McGeehan Founding Director of FairSquare Charlie Eccleshare Sports writer for The Athletic

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