(Berlin, 22 April 2015) – A coalition of leading NGOs and trade unions has written to the four FIFA presidential candidates urging them to commit to addressing human rights, labour rights and anti-corruption issues in future World Cups, if successful in their bid for the presidency.
In a questionnaire from the Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA), the candidates – Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, Sepp Blatter, Luis Figo, Michael van Praag – are asked whether in the first 100 days of their presidency they will address corruption, labour issues and other human rights concerns around the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups. The election of a new president takes place on 29 May in Zurich.
The questionnaire specifically asks the candidates if they will take measures to prevent human rights and labour abuses linked to construction for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. They are asked if they would use their position as president to exert pressure on the Qatari authorities to bring the country’s labour laws into line with international standards and reform the kafala sponsorship system, which effectively ties migrant workers to their employer and prevents them from leaving the country.
FIFA has come under significant fire in the last few years over human rights abuses linked to the World Cup.
The run up to Brazil 2014 was marred by police violence against anti-World Cup protestors and forced evictions to make way for infrastructure for the event.[…]
Ignacio Packer, Secretary General of Terre des Hommes, recalls the commitment of civil society organisations like the SRA members to take action:
“We will be closely following the FIFA presidential elections. We want to ensure that the next FIFA president – whoever it is – will pave the way for improvements. Thereby, we offer our support and expertise. Especially referring to children, the power of football offers many opportunities. But there are also risks which need to be mitigated and violations that must stop. FIFA is responsible for effects linked to its World Cups, both positive and negative. What a chance for FIFA and its future president to ‘make the world a better place’.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Dr. Marianne Meier
Head of Project ‘Children Win’
+41 78 664 77 57