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Amnesty calls on Canada Soccer to support compensation for migrant workers in Qatar

Amnesty International has lambasted Canada Soccer for shying away from addressing the “severe, widespread harms skilled by those that made this World Cup a actuality” in Qatar.

In an open letter to Canada Soccer, Amnesty congratulated the Canadian governing physique “for fielding a squad whose thrilling play and wealthy cultural variety has already ignited the creativeness of the following technology of Canadian sports activities leaders.”

But Ketty Nivyabandi, Amnesty International Canada’s normal secretary, urged Canada Soccer to take motion off the sphere.

“Your group’s deafening silence on honest compensation for affected migrant workers and their households is a failure of management and will go away an enduring stain on Canada’s re-emergence on soccer’s greatest stage,” wrote Nivyabandi.

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Amnesty mentioned it has documented that 1000’s of workers, predominantly from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, “have been subjected to labour abuses, abysmally low pay, and different exploitation.”

“Despite current modifications to Qatari labour regulation, migrant workers nonetheless expertise delayed or unpaid wages, denial of relaxation days, unsafe working situations, limitations to altering jobs, and restricted entry to justice. On high of the nation’s labour file, homosexuality is outlawed in Qatar — for instance, sexual acts between males are punishable by a jail sentence of up to seven years — and Qatari regulation continues to deal with ladies as second-class residents in employment, schooling, and well being care.”

Canada Soccer issued an announcement final month saying it supported “the continued pursuit of additional progress relating to workers’ rights and inclusivity as Qatar prepares to host the world.”

“While strides have been made in strengthening protections for workers by way of the Qatar authorities’s labour reforms, we encourage all companions to proceed the dialogue guaranteeing these reforms translate to tangible enchancment in protections for workers’ rights and inclusivity throughout the nation past the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” the Canada Soccer assertion mentioned.

“We imagine {that a} legacy of this match needs to be to encourage and encourage additional enhancements in this space, not simply in Qatar however throughout the whole area.”

Canada Soccer mentioned it met with the Canadian Embassy in Doha in Qatar in April, July and September this 12 months, in addition to assembly and listening to shows from each the International Labour Organization and Amnesty International.

“Through our ongoing dialogue in current months, it’s our understanding that Qatar’s authorized reforms, if absolutely applied, have the potential to have an actual influence and additional enhance protections for workers’ rights throughout the nation,” the Canada Soccer assertion mentioned. “We encourage all companions to proceed their efforts to implement current labour reforms and proceed to deal with and resolve previous labour abuses.”

‘Canada Soccer has apparently failed to comply with up’

Amnesty was unimpressed.

“Canada Soccer has apparently failed to comply with up, elevating questions on your acknowledged dedication to upholding Canada’s ‘world repute as a defender of human and LGBTQ2S rights,”‘ it mentioned in the open letter.

Amnesty urged Canada Soccer, earlier than the Canadian males take the sphere Wednesday towards Belgium, to be part of the joint name by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and FairSquare Projects, a non-profit human rights group, for FIFA to to create a $440-million US Workers Compensation Fund for labourers and households “who suffered harms in the lead-up to the Qatar World Cup.”

Amnesty famous that different federations, together with the English Football Association, French Football Federation, Royal Dutch Football Association and U.S. Soccer, have already endorsed a Workers Compensation Fund.

It additionally requested Canada Soccer to commit to assembly with Amnesty representatives in the following 30 days to focus on “our considerations about Canada Soccer’s response to human rights violations related to the Qatar World Cup” and “begin creating an motion plan that will see Canada Soccer emerge as a frontrunner in the sphere of sports activities and human rights forward of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which Canada will co-host.”

“Leadership requires greater than treating workers’ rights as a procedural ‘field to be ticked.’ Fortunately, it isn’t too late for Canada Soccer to step out from the sidelines, be part of different worldwide groups on the human rights discipline, and grow to be the worldwide participant it asserts it’s.”

Canada Soccer didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark on the Amnesty letter.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s emir, mentioned on Oct. 25 that Qatar has been “subjected to an unprecedented marketing campaign that no host nation has ever confronted.”

On Saturday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino defended Qatar’s immigration coverage and praised the federal government for bringing in migrants to work.

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