2022 World Cup: England players should highlight human rights concerns – Amnesty

Germany are among teams to have highlighted migrant workers’ rights in Qatar

England players, staff and fans should use their positions to highlight human rights concerns in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, according to Amnesty International.

Gareth Southgate’s side qualified for the tournament on Monday after beating San Marino 10-0.

But with just over a year until the World Cup kicks off, Amnesty has released a 48-page report claiming migrant workers are being exploited as they help to build stadiums and infrastructure for the winter tournament.

Despite the introduction of what it says are a number of welcome labour reforms since 2017, the human rights organisation claims workers are still “facing wage theft, unsafe working conditions and sometimes insurmountable barriers to changing jobs”.

In response, the Qatar government said: “Qatar rejects Amnesty’s assertion that labour reforms have not translated into changes on the ground for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers.

“Every year, more companies are held accountable for violating the law. Systemic reform is a long-term process and shifting the behaviour of every company takes time. Through its actions, the government is sending a strong message to companies that violations will not be tolerated.

“Qatar has never shied away from acknowledging that its labour system is still a work in progress. The government is committed to engaging collaboratively and constructively with international partners and critics to further improve standards for all migrant workers in Qatar.”

Speaking after Monday’s win, England boss Southgate said: “We will take the time to educate ourselves and if we feel there are areas we can highlight and help, we have always tried to do that and we will do that.”

Norway, Netherlands and Germany players have all protested about alleged human rights abuses in Qatar.

“The exploitation of Qatar’s massive migrant workforce has already cast a dark shadow over next year’s World Cup,” said Amnesty International UK’s chief executive Sacha Deshmukh.

“The Football Association ought to use the remaining year until kick-off to push for lasting labour reforms in Qatar. It is part of the Uefa…

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