How many people have to die for the World Cup?

ECPM is worried by the silence of the European Parliament and national parliaments all over the world about the death of hundreds of construction workers in Qatar. Many of them are constructing buildings and infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. A considerable part of the migrant workers are treated without any respect for their human dignity. ECPM calls on politicians to publicly speak out against the mistreatment of migrants workers in Qatar. Respected newspapers like the Guardian and New York Times have already reported about the dire circumstances in Qatar. The current situation is frequently labelled as “modern day slavery”. Yet, politicians remain very silent on this subject.

European elections candidate and ECPM Board member Stieneke van der Graaf was shocked after she read into the situation of migrant construction workers in Qatar: “I strive towards a world where justice rules and combat modern day slavery. Therefore I speak out against the atrocious labour abuses and needless deaths of migrant workers in Qatar. How many people have to die for the World Cup? I call on the FIFA and the organizers of the world cup to improve the conditions and compensate the victims' families. I will sign the petition to FIFA.”

If conditions do not improve, at least 4.000 migrant workers will die before the first match of the 2022 World Cup will be played, according to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The current conditions of migrants workers in Qatar deprive them of their human dignity. There can be no excuse for treating these workers without human dignity. The ECPM manifesto states:

Human dignity is not only a value, it is not a belief, and it is not an opinion. Rather, human dignity is a principle and transcends the subjective and presents a reality of critical importance to each one of us. As a principle, human dignity is, therefore, unchangeable and relevant in all cultures at all times.

ECPM asks the FIFA to take immediate action to improve the situation of these workers and to take the principle of human dignity seriously when deciding on the host of a World Cup. It is hard to believe that an international organization that claims to be promoting respect for all and battle discrimination turns a blind eye when it comes to selecting countries that will host their World Cup.

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