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The arrest of FIFA executives on a raft of fraud and corruption charges has been front-page news in recent days. But the charges brought by the Swiss and American authorities focus on bribery and embezzlement, and do not address another egregious injustice: the treatment of the migrant workers in Qatar who are building the stadiums for the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup.FIFA had – and still has – a responsibility to act. There have also been calls for sponsors, including McDonalds, Visa, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Budweiser, Gazprom, KIA and Hyundai, to place pressure on FIFA and Qatar to improve working conditions.The report, prompted by the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse, in which more than 1,100 people died and over 2,000 were injured, highlighted poor working conditions, inadequate building inspections, weak labor laws, and the need for fairer wage practices and legal benefits.Larger companies also have a larger ability to become a force for good, both locally and globally. If a company the size of the U.S. retailer Walmart decides that it will not allow wasteful packaging, its purchasing power will lead to changes in packaging for the entire retail sector. The same is true of wages and labor practices.Much the same is true for organizations such as FIFA.
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reckoning – it’s time for action
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