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Qatar World Cup sponsors targeted for improving workers' rights

Amid allegations of human rights abuses, activists are pressuring corporate sponsors to push for changes to the work and living conditions of 1.5 million South Asian labourers building venues for the Qatar World Cup in 2022.

South Asian workers face squalid living conditions, injuries, death while building 2022 venues: activists

Qatar World Cup sponsors targeted

The National

6 years ago
3:59
Movement grows to pressure Qatar World Cup's corporate sponsors to improve squalid conditions for the migrants building all the venues 3:59

The controversial 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been plagued by a bribery scandal, criticism over the scorching heat and the horrific treatment of the migrant workers building the glitzy venues.

Now, activists are pressuring corporate sponsors like McDonald's, Visa, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Budweiser, Gazprom, Kia and Hyundai to push for changes to the work and living conditions of 1.5 million South Asian labourers, "or they will have blood on their hands," according to an episode of CBC's The National that aired Sunday night. 

According to some estimates, over 1,000 migrant workers have already died in the Gulf nation. 

In 2010, soccer's governing body, FIFA, selected Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. 

This year, FIFA moved the tournament to November and December to avoid the most intense desert heat, and bribery allegations, denied by Qatar, have dogged the selection committee.

Stories are emerging about the squalid living conditions, injuries and even deaths endured by the workers from Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. Organizations like Amnesty International are pressuring sponsors to demand improved human rights protections. 

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