Amnesty condemns Football Canada’s ‘deaf silence’ on Qatar’s migrant worker issues – National

Amnesty International criticized Canadian football for evading addressing “the widespread, serious harm that people have caused World Cup a fact” in Cata.

In an open letter to Canada Soccer, Amnesty congratulated the Canadian governing body “for establishing a team whose gritty gameplay and rich cultural diversity have sparked the imagination of the world.” the next Canadian sports leadership.”

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But Ketty Nivyabandi, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, has called for Team Canada to take action off the pitch.

Nivyabandi writes: “Your organization’s silence on fair compensation for affected migrant workers and their families is a failure of leadership and can leave a lasting stain on the community. Canada’s re-emergence on football’s biggest stage.

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Amnesty said it has documented that thousands of workers, mainly from South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa, “have been subjected to labor abuse, horribly underpaid and other exploitation.” .

“Despite recent changes to Qatari labor law, migrant workers still experience delayed or unpaid wages, no days off, unsafe working conditions, barriers to changing jobs. and limited access to justice. In addition to the country’s labor record, homosexuality is outlawed in Qatar – for example, sexual acts between men can be punishable by up to 7 years in prison – and Qatari law continues. consider women as second-class citizens in employment, education, and health care.

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The Calgary football fan who served on the Qatar World Cup committee is ready for the trip of a lifetime

Canada Soccer released a statement last month saying it supported “the continued pursuit of further progress regarding worker rights and inclusivity as Qatar prepares to host the world.”

“While progress has been made in enhancing worker protections through the Qatari government’s labor reforms, we encourage all partners to continue their dialogue to ensure these reforms translate into significant improvement in worker rights protection and national inclusivity beyond the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” said Canada Soccer in a statement.

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“We believe the legacy of this tournament will inspire and encourage further improvements in this area, not just in Qatar but across the region.”

Canada Soccer said it met with the Canadian Embassy in Doha in Qatar in April, July and September of this year, in addition to meeting and hearing presentations from both the International Labor Organization and Amnesty. International.

“Through our ongoing dialogue in recent months, we understand that Qatar’s regulatory reforms, if fully implemented, have the potential to make a real impact and improve further. further measures to protect workers’ rights across the country,” Canada Soccer said in a statement. “We encourage all partners to continue their efforts to implement recent labor reforms, while continuing to address and address past labor abuse cases.”

Amnesty is unimpressive.

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“Canada Soccer has clearly failed to follow through, calling into question your stated commitment to upholding Canada’s ‘global reputation as a defender of human rights and LGBTQ2S,'” it said in the photo. open letter.

Amnesty called on Canada Soccer, before the Canadian men hit the field on Wednesday against Belgium, to join the joint call of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the FairSquare Project, a non-profit human rights organization, for FIFA to create a $440 grant. one million dollars Workers Compensation Fund for workers and families “who were harmed during the preparation for the Qatar World Cup.”

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Amnesty notes that other federations, including the Football Association of England, the French Football Federation, the Royal Dutch Football Association and American Football, have endorsed the Workers’ Compensation Fund. .

It also asked Canada Soccer to commit to meeting Amnesty representatives over the next 30 days to discuss “our concerns about Canada Soccer’s response to World-related human rights abuses.” Qatar Cup” and “started developing an action plan that will help Canada Soccer emerge as a leader in sports and human rights ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which Canada will partner with.” host.”

“Leadership requires more than treating workers’ rights as a procedural ‘checkbox’. Fortunately, it’s not too late for Canada Soccer to step out of the way, join other international teams in the field of human rights and become the global player they claim to be.”

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Canada Soccer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Amnesty letter.

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Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir of Qatar, said on October 25 that Qatar was “under an unprecedented campaign that no other host country has faced”.

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

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