World Cup protesters skewer sponsors over migrant worker issues in Qatar

Graphic artists have satirized the prestigious soccer tournament’s main sponsors to gain attention for human rights abuses.

Activists have set up wooden crosses during a protest called “Red Card for FIFA: No World Cup in Qatar Without Workers Rights.” The crosses represent the estimated 1,200 migrant workers who have died due to “treacherous” working conditions. (Ennio Leanza/AP via Keystone)
Activists have set up wooden crosses during a protest called “Red Card for FIFA: No World Cup in Qatar Without Workers Rights.” The crosses represent the estimated 1,200 migrant workers who have died due to “treacherous” working conditions. (Ennio Leanza/AP via Keystone)

(MEDIA GENERAL) – While FIFA is under the microscope for corruption and racketeering charges levied against several high-ranking officials Wednesday, human rights activists have stayed focused on Qatar, the planned site for the 2022 men’s World Cup.

Activists, alongside organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are calling attention to the treacherous working conditions in Qatar, where migrant workers are being brought in with promises of well-paying jobs only to be trapped by labor restrictions. Constructing several stadiums and other World Cup infrastructure buildings are the main draw for migrant workers.

According to a report from Amnesty International, laborers are forced to work up to 12 hours per day, seven days per week, in summer temperatures that often reach up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The International Trade Union Confederation has estimated 1,200 workers have died on World Cup sites since construction started in Dec. 2010. The ITUC says if trends continue another estimated 4,000 workers will die before the tournament starts in 2022.

To protest the alleged human rights abuses, several graphic artists have taken aim at the World Cup’s primary sponsors, satirizing their popular logos and mottos to reflect the controversy in Qatar.

Here are a few examples:



According to a report from Amnesty International, the Qatari government promised reforms more than a year ago, but to date, little has changed.

“Qatar is failing migrant workers. Last year, the government made promises to improve migrant labor rights in Qatar, but in practice, there have been no significant advances in the protection of rights,” Mustafa Qadri, a migrant rights researcher at Amnesty International, said in a press release. “The lack of a clear roadmap of targets and benchmarks for reform leaves serious doubts about Qatar’s commitment to tackling migrant labor abuse.”

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