» 08/31/2013, 00.00
World Cup 2022, football and slavery meet in Qatar
Activists to boycott the World Cup in Doha condemning the exploitation of foreign workers in place in the country. Meanwhile , FIFA decides whether to move the competition to the winter months due to the high summer temperatures. The role of migrants trapped by the kafala system ahead of World Cup in 2022 .
Doha (AsiaNews/Agencies) - While Fifa mulls over whether to assign the World Cup to Qatar in
2022 , the International Trade Union
Confederation ( ITUC ), an organization committed to protecting the rights
of workers in 153 countries worldwide , is preparing to launch a boycott of the
competition. " It
would be a dreadful pity and an enormous shame on all of us if we are prepared
to participate in a world cup that has been brought to us by slavery,"
said the group's director , Aidan McQuade .
In Qatar, the
system of kafala - or sponsorship - to date traps more than one million foreign
workers, by binding to their employer and depriving them of any fundamental
rights. They are Nepalese, Filipinos and Indonesians, and work either for large
construction companies or as domestic employees of the rich Qataris . Once
hired , they are deprived of their passports and any fundamental right. Without the permission of their ' sponsors '
they can not resign , leave the country or file a complaint in case of abuse ,
under penalty of arrest or deportation.
Pope Francis also
spoke out against the trafficking of migrants on 8 July during his visit to
Lampedusa. Celebrating Mass right beside the ' graveyard of the boats ' , the
Holy Father condemned the ' globalization of indifference ' , which has
deprived us of the " ability to cry " and our " fraternal sense
of responsibility ."
But FIFA's doubts
over whether or not to designate Qatar as the host nation, mainly concern the
climate issue. In the Gulf countries , in fact , summer temperatures often
reach 50 ° C and in spite of the emirs advancing the crazy idea of on pitch air conditioning, FIFA officials are
considering whether to move the competition to the winter months.
At the same time,
a World Cup in Qatar would imply a mass of contracts of up to 75 billion dollars, on which the big U.S., British , French
and Brazilian companies are already scrambling to lay thier hands when FIFA
decided to settle the emirs . The hotels , stadiums , railways, subway lines
and a new city of 200 thousand inhabitants would be built and serviced by
migrants who have arrived in Qatar from Southeast Asia, constituting up to 94 %
of the workforce . According to Sharan Burrow , ITUC General Secretary ,this is
why "the organization will put
pressure on these investment groups so that together with the development of
the planned projects they will encourage an improvement of the working
conditions of migrants ."
Emir, Tamim bin Hamad al- Thani, is the heir of a double political game started
by his father according to many analysts: maintaining the conditions that allow
the survival of the kafala system and at the same time encouraging the birth of
sterile non-governmental organizations to act as a counterweight . In 2002 ,
the Emir Khalifa al- Tani , who abdicated in favor of Tamim on 24 June ,
inaugurated the Commission for Human Rights , while the Qatar Foundation on
Combating human trafficking , " engaged " in the fight against human
trafficking , was conceived by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al Missned , his
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Krishna Upadhyaya and Gundev Ghimire work for the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), a Norwegian Human Rights organization. They were in the Gulf country to investigate the situation of migrants involved in World Cup constructions. They last made contact five days ago, "We are being followed by the police, it seems we are creating a lot of problems." The local authorities do not respond to the demands of the international community.
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