How Qatar Built Stadiums with Forced Labor

I will let Vox pref­ace the video above:

Ever since Qatar won the rights to host the FIFA World Cup in 2010, its treat­ment of migrant work­ers has made inter­na­tion­al head­lines. News sto­ries and human rights orga­ni­za­tions revealed migrant work­ers who built the sta­di­ums, hotels, and all the new infra­struc­ture required for the World Cup were being forced to work, not get­ting paid, unable to leave, and in some cas­es, dying.

At the heart of the abuse faced by migrant work­ers is the kafala sys­tem. A sys­tem preva­lent in Gulf states that ties work­ers to their spon­sors, it often gives spon­sors almost total con­trol of migrant work­ers’ employ­ment and immi­gra­tion sta­tus.

Due to all the scruti­ny Qatar has been under, some reforms have been put in place, but the kafala sys­tem is more than a law — it’s a prac­tice. And while these reforms exist on paper, human rights orga­ni­za­tions say there’s still a long way to go.

To under­stand how hun­dreds of thou­sands of migrant work­ers were stuck in an exploita­tive sys­tem while build­ing the sta­di­ums for the World Cup, watch our 10-minute video above.

To delve deep­er, it’s also worth lis­ten­ing to the New York Times’ recent pod­cast, Qatar’s Big Bet on the World Cup and read The Guardian arti­cle, 6,500 migrant work­ers have died in Qatar since World Cup award­ed.

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