World Cup nations to discuss highlighting plight of migrant workers in Qatar

The Football Association is uniting with federations in other countries to identify the best way to shine a light on the plight of migrant workers in World Cup host nation Qatar.

Human rights group Amnesty International has called on World Cup organisers Fifa to earmark at least $440 million (over £350m) to support projects to compensate the families of migrant workers in the Gulf state who have died and to reimburse others forced to pay recruitment fees in order to work.

It also wants the money – which Amnesty says is equivalent to the prize fund allocated to the competing nations – to support efforts to protect workers’ rights in the future.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said representatives from the national associations of the countries who had qualified for the finals were travelling out to Qatar at the weekend, where discussions over human rights issues will take place.

“We are looking at two things: first, what is the legacy programme, and second, what is any symbolic gesture that we collectively would like to make,” he said.

“We would hope to be able to give an update on that after we’ve spoken to the players in the wake of that workshop.”

Amnesty made a specific call on the England team to support remediation efforts for migrant workers, and FA chair Debbie Hewitt said: “I would say that if there’s a positive to come from a World Cup held in Qatar then it is the opportunity to give the migrant workers their voice, and that’s the way they see it.

“Having sat down and spoken with them and having seen where they work, having seen the conditions, having seen where they live and having heard some of the experiences they’ve had, they would say – if you ask them the question point blank: would you rather us boycott or would you rather be here shining a light? They say – certainly the very significant number that I have spoken to – would say: ‘we want you to shine a light.’

“I think that responsibility comes back to a legacy and there’s a lot of talk about where we can unite with other federations – and I do think that’s important where it’s united we will stand – to leave a legacy behind that shines a light on the issues and that is able to put in place some solutions.”

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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