Amnesty International challenges the French team and demands from Fifa 420 million euros for the workers

Amnesty International challenges the French team and demands from Fifa 420 million euros for the workers

With the approach of the Football World Cup (from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar), the human rights association Amnesty International is not letting up the pressure. The NGO published, Thursday, May 19, a report to regret that the promises of the Qatari government, on better treatment of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, are not kept. To make her voice heard, she called on the International Football Federation (Fifa) that same day, while the French branch of the association sent an open letter to the Blues.

While Didier Deschamps is due to unveil his list for the Nations League matches in June on Thursday May 19, at 2 p.m., Amnesty International France is calling on the players of the France team to take a stand: “You will enter into legend, if as reigning world champions, you help us to defend and support migrant people working in undignified conditions in Qatar. Your talent is worth gold, your word must weigh just as much! “

The association refers “to the thousands of dead” – exhaustion, illness, hyperthermia on the construction sites of the stadiums and the multiple infrastructures of the event. But also to the system of “quasi servitude” imposed on workers by Qatar. “Confiscation of passports, prohibition to join a union, or even to quit one’s job under penalty of prosecution, or even lack of rest time, late pay and theft of wages, Amnesty International France list. Many of these people, who left their country to find work in Qatar, are now living in hell.”

Under international pressure, the host of the World Cup has conceded some social progress – in particular the establishment of a minimum wage, the authorization to change jobs, or even a law to protect employees from the heat –, but “on the ground nothing changes or very little”, establishes the association.

Faced with the long years of violations of workers’ rights, Amnesty International is now calling for the establishment of a comprehensive program of reparations for all these violations. the “funds would be used to repay in particular the very heavy debts they contract to be able to work in Qatar, but also and above all to compensate the families of victims who died on the construction sites. It is necessary to help them overcome these hardships, in particular to enable them to repatriate the bodies of their deceased relatives”justifies the NGO.

To do this, it is to Fifa, as the organizing body, that it addresses itself: it asks it to pay no less than 440 million dollars (420 million euros) as compensation to migrant workers. “mistreated” – as part of a program organized with the participation “workers, trade unions, the International Labor Organization and civil society”.

Fifa told AFP “currently evaluating Amnesty’s proposal” and other NGOs, claiming that she “involves a wide range of public infrastructure built (in Qatar) since 2010 that is not necessarily World Cup related”.

Criticized since being awarded the first World Cup in an Arab country, Qatar has carried out major reforms. But the wealthy Gulf state firmly rejects the death tolls on construction sites put forward by international media.

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