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    Amnesty International: 'World Cup 2022 Qatar workers being exploited'

    Joe Jones

    Migrant workers constructing stadiums for the Qatar 2022 World Cup continue to be trapped in a vicious cycle of debt and exploitation, according to new research by Amnesty International.

    FIFA is already under pressure from its own advisory board to act over the kafala system, used to monitor migrant labourers, which has been described as modern slavery.

    The human rights organisation conducted a phone survey of 414 Nepali migrant workers, 88 per cent of whom reported that they had paid excessive, illegal fees to agents for their jobs overseas.

    The majority of workers had to borrow more than half the sum from village moneylenders, forcing them into debt which was further compounded by not being paid their full wages.

    More than half of the workers (53 per cent) surveyed by Amnesty claimed they received lower monthly salaries than the amount promised to them by recruitment agents.

    "Nepali migrant workers are being systematically and mercilessly set up," James Lynch, deputy director of Amnesty International's Global Issues Programme, is quoted by Sky Sports as saying.

    "Forced to take out loans to pay the huge fees recruitment agencies charge them to work abroad, they are left so indebted that they have no choice but to stay in jobs which often turn out to be low-paid or dangerous.

    "The Nepali government's weak enforcement of the law is playing straight into the hands of extortionists and loan sharks.

    "Migrant workers all too often end up trapped in the soul-destroying situation of working abroad for years simply to pay off the huge, often illegal fees they were charged to take the job.

    "Tackling this exploitative industry is a matter of urgency."

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