Workers Abused at World Cup Sites in Qatar
Amnesty International has published a report showing that many workers are abused and exploited on the construction sites of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The organization interviewed 230 workers at the Khalifa International Stadium, one of 12 arenas that will host matches. They found out that some workers had not been paid in months. Many were threatened if they complained about the bad working conditions in the Persian Gulf state. Construction companies even took away their passports so they could not go back home. Workers also complained about having to live in cramped rooms.
Some told stories about how they had to pay thousands of dollars in order to get a job in Qatar. After arriving, they discovered that they would be paid much less than originally promised.
The FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest sports events in the world. It generates about $5 billion dollars for the organisation. In 2010, Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Since then the government has been pouring billions of dollars into new stadiums and other facilities. In the end, the event will have cost a total of $200 billion, more than any other host nation has ever spent.
Amnesty International is criticising FIFA for not putting enough pressure on Qatari authorities to protect the rights of migrant workers. Most of them come from south and southeast Asia. In the coming years over 30,000 will be employed at the various constructions sites in Qatar.
One of the reasons for the exploitation of foreign workers lies in Qatar's kalafa system, in which workers can only work for one employer. Although Qatar's Supreme Court has set up rules in a worker's rights charter, many companies are obviously not obeying them.
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- abuse = to treat someone in a bad way
- although = while
- arena = stadium
- authorities = organization that has power and makes decisions
- bid = here: to offer to organize an event
- billion = a thousand million
- charter = document on which rights are written
- complain = to say that something is wrong or not the way it should be
- construction = building
- construction company = firm that builds and renews the stadiums
- cramped = overcrowded; not enough space
- criticise = to say that something is bad or not the way it should be
- discover = find out
- employ = to give someone work
- employer = a person who gives work to others
- exploit = to use someone in an unfair way, so that you profit from it
- facility = here: place or building that you need for teams or visitors
- foreign = from another country
- generate = produce, make money
- government = the people who rule a country
- host = here: where the games will take place or country that organizes the event
- migrant worker = person who goes to another country to work there
- obey = follow
- obviously = in a way that is easy to understand
- originally = at first
- passport = document with your name and a photo ; you use it to travel to other countries
- pour = here: spend a lot of money on something
- promise = to say that you will do something or give someone something
- protect = defend
- publish = print for everyone to read
- put pressure on = here: to try to make someone do something
- rights = things that you are officially allowed to do
- set up = introduce
- state = country
- Supreme Court = the highest court in a country
- threaten = to tell someone you will hurt them or cause problems if you don't do as they say
- various = different