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2022 World Cup in Qatar: French judge investigates "forced labor" charges against Vinci - France 24


2022 World Cup in Qatar: French judge investigates "forced labor" charges against Vinci

Nanterre (AFP)

An investigating judge has been tasked with investigating the activities of the Vinci construction and public works group in Qatar after accusations of "forced labor" and "trafficking in human beings" on the sites of the 2022 World Cup, he said. we learned from consistent sources on Tuesday.

The investigation was opened on November 25, 2019 by the dean of the Nanterre investigative judges Serge Tournaire after complaints filed since the end of 2018 by the organizations Sherpa and Committee against modern slavery (CCEM), and seven ex-employees Indian and Nepalese.

The complainants accuse Vinci, Vinci Construction Grands Projets (VCGP), its Qatari subsidiary Qatari Diar Vinci Construction (QDVC) and their representatives of "reduction in servitude, trafficking in human beings, work incompatible with human dignity, deliberate endangerment, injuries involuntary and concealment ", according to the terms of the complaint that AFP was able to consult.

It follows an investigation by Sherpa in India in September 2018 that would have gathered elements and testimonies of former workers who would confirm the first investigation of the NGO conducted in 2014 in Qatar, according to Sherpa.

According to the NGO, Vinci migrant workers who are employed on World Cup sites work, passport confiscated, between 66 and 77 hours per week. And they would be crammed into cramped rooms with insufficient sanitary facilities, receiving remuneration unrelated to the work provided and threatened with dismissal or return to their country in the event of a claim.

Sherpa, which has set itself the goal of defending populations victims of economic crimes, had already filed a complaint in March 2015 with Nanterre against Vinci Construction Grands Projets and its subsidiary in Qatar, but in February 2019, the preliminary investigation was classified without continuation.

"Vinci refutes all of Sherpa's allegations," reacted the group to AFP, highlighting the "numerous initiatives implemented over the past ten years in Qatar and which have inspired the new regulations on workers' rights implemented. recently by country. "

An audit carried out in early January 2019 by several trade union organizations (CGT, CFDT and CFE-CGC) within the group's Qatari activities also concluded that there were good practices on the ground in terms of recruitment and employment.

bl-edy-agu-cal-JDY / jt / gold

© 2020 AFP

Source: france24

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