Human rights watchdog Amnesty International and Norwegian club Tromso released a jersey with a QR code they say highlights violations in Qatar one year before the 2022 World Cup.
The kit, which was modeled by Kenyan blogger and migrant worker-turned-human rights defender Malcolm Bidali, features a scannable code that directs users to a website detailing a range of information about the Cup’s host country. of the world next year.
Reports have been scouring the web for a few years now, detailing alleged human rights violations of workers helping to prepare stadium infrastructure ahead of the tournament.
Qatar has reportedly received two million migrant workers for the project, a figure that represents 95% of the workforce.
Last year, it was announced that Qatar had changed its labor laws about a week after the release of a damning 78-page report highlighting the problems facing many workers.
The kafala – or sponsorship – system, which meant that migrant workers ‘visas were directly linked to their employers, was criticized by the international community as an abuse of workers’ rights.
The law was repealed, but critics say a review of the country’s labor laws did not go far enough, with some earning just over a dollar an hour.
The Qatari government, however, has chastised Amnesty International’s suggestions that the amended labor laws have not really improved working conditions.
Tromso and Amnesty International disagree with this.
“Tromso was the first professional club in the world to denounce the inhuman conditions of the country”, reads a message posted on the club’s official website.
Germany joined Norway in denouncing Qatar’s human rights record ahead of its World Cup qualifiers. Yesterday, Norway wore shirts bearing the inscription “Human rights: on and off the pitch”. pic.twitter.com/NgB4Q2AZ5T
– Football B / R (@brfootball) March 25, 2021
“We were hoping that FIFA and Qatar would listen to us last time, but it is obvious that money always trumps human rights and lives.
“How many human rights violations will it take before the football community unites to demand better protection for migrant workers?”
“We must never look away when some use our fair game to hide human rights violations. We can change this together. Stop the sports wash. Keep the game clean, they added.
Bidali, who was arrested in Qatar for writing a blog post criticizing the rights granted to migrant workers, says there is a “Power imbalance” in the country with regard to employers and employees.
“It’s innovative and it will raise awareness of everything that is happening in Qatar”, he said of the shirt. “It’s the first of its kind and it’s a brilliant, brilliant move.”
Tromso has been consistent in his criticism of the World Cup in Qatar and called on international teams to boycott the tournament.
‘Football supports change’ Netherlands join Norway, Germany in denouncing Qatar’s human rights record in World Cup qualifiers pic.twitter.com/950bQdTM2t
– Football B / R (@brfootball) March 27, 2021
I look forward to Southgate’s perspective on Qatar. He insists taking the knee is not just a sign of virtue, so if the England team play in Qatar – with its human rights record and a significant number of worker deaths during the construction of the stadium – we will know that is exactly what it is.
– Pete Swonenine (@peteswonenine) October 10, 2021
The Norwegian national team also showed their support by wearing t-shirts saying “Human rights – on and off the pitch” before the World Cup qualifiers, although the bosses stopped before to call for a boycott of the final phase, arguing that it is more important to continue the discussion.
Germany and the Netherlands are other teams to have worn shirts with these views, while England is also in dialogue with Amnesty.