Group asks for dwelling wages, labor rights for 2026 World Cup

With this yr’s World Cup in Qatar clouded by labor and human rights points, there’s a push for the North American cities awarded video games for the 2026 match to decide to livable wages, equitable hiring and employee safety.

The Dignity 2026 coalition has introduced collectively teams together with the AFL-CIO, Human Rights Watch and the Impartial Supporters Council to work with FIFA and the person host cities in the US, Canada and Mexico.

The coalition has met a number of instances up to now few months with soccer’s worldwide governing physique to debate its dedication to those points. With final week’s announcement of the 16 cities that can host video games, the hassle has change into extra focused.

They are saying FIFA is listening, however has not pledged to require minimal requirements.

“Meaning taking a look at truthful dwelling wages, focused native hiring, sturdy well being and security protections and agreements that ensure that staff have a voice on the job. So we now have given them about 9 factors that we want to see carried out throughout all the host cities. As a result of one of many issues we now have discovered is the cities haven’t gotten steerage about what the expectations are,” stated Cathy Feingold, director of the worldwide division on the AFL-CIO. “And so we predict the easiest way to deal with that is to verify there are very clear binding frameworks that unify all the host cities.”

FIFA didn’t reply to a request for remark.

This yr’s World Cup begins in November. Critics say the primary World Cup within the Center East is problematic due to Qatar’s historical past of human and labor rights abuses. There have been widespread stories of abuse of the migrant staff who’ve constructed the estimated $200 billion in tasks that embody stadiums, transport and different infrastructure.

Qatari officers and FIFA have stated the World Cup has accelerated constructive modifications within the nation’s legal guidelines and society. And certainly, the nation has launched a minimal wage and dismantled the “kafala” sponsorship system binding staff to their employer.

The U.S., Canada and Mexico bid for the World Cup included a 90-page plan to handle human rights. A few of the teams in Dignity 2026 have been concerned within the plan’s formulation.

“We all know very properly that what’s on paper, doesn’t at all times imply what’s put into follow. And so what we’ve come collectively to do is basically translate that doc that at this level is non-binding and ensure its carried out within the host cities,” Feingold stated.

4 years in the past when the joint bid was awarded, there have been issues concerning the implications of then-President Donald Trump’s orders barring journey to the US from quite a few Muslim-majority nations. Trump later assured FIFA that journey for the occasion wouldn’t be impeded, and President Joseph Biden subsequently overturned the orders.

Of rising concern are U.S. legal guidelines in some states focusing on the LGBTQ neighborhood, together with legal guidelines that impression transgender youngsters and athletes, in addition to measures that impression reproductive rights and voting entry.

In Canada, the marginalization of indigenous communities is below scrutiny, whereas Mexico has struggled to reign in followers who use homophobic chants at soccer matches.

Dan Hunt, the president of FC Dallas and head of that metropolis’s bid committee, stated the 2026 World Cup is exclusive as a result of the stadiums already are in place, so there won’t be huge development tasks. The Dallas space’s bid centered round AT&T Stadium in Arlington, residence of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

Hunt stated the Dallas committee included human rights into its bid, together with ensuring the LGBTQ neighborhood has a voice. The bid committee was additionally involved with intercourse trafficking that usually happens round massive occasions, he stated.

“There are issues we’re going to should concentrate on regarding the staff right here,” Hunt stated. “Employee security is a serious concern that each firm faces. So extra to return on that.”

Minky Worden, director of worldwide initiatives at Human Rights Watch, stated the World Cup is a novel likelihood to shine a light-weight on human and staff’ rights and pave the way in which for change.

“The World Cup shouldn’t be a human rights horror present,” Worden stated. “We now have the instance of the World Cup in Russia — no LGBT rights, no staff rights, North Korean slave labor constructing the St. Petersburg stadium. We now have the instance presently of Qatar with no migrant employee’s rights, 1000’s lifeless, no LGBT rights, no girls’s rights and by the way in which, no press freedom.

“So the thought is, for the love of God, can’t we do higher?”


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