Game for change: charities urge Christians to unite in opposition to exploitation throughout World Cup

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Preparations for this 12 months’s World Cup have shone a light-weight on the ugly facet of the gorgeous sport, with stories of trafficking, compelled labour and unjust working situations affecting staff in Qatar, the host nation.

In response, International Justice Mission (IJM) UK, Tearfund and Compassion have teamed as much as launch Justice United, an initiative encouraging church buildings to assist shield individuals vulnerable to exploitation world wide by way of organising World Cup-themed consciousness and fundraising occasions.

They are in search of to lift consciousness of the truth that compelled labour and different forms of exploitation occur in every single place – not solely in Qatar – and to take optimistic motion to cease it.

In 2022, the world is at a crucial juncture within the journey in direction of eradicating slavery, with the state of affairs quickly getting worse. According to just lately launched figures from the International Labour Organization, 28 million individuals world wide are actually trapped in compelled labour, a rise of two.7 million since 2016 – a rise which the ILO attributes to the mixed results of the Covid-19 pandemic, battle and local weather change.

Forced labour is a type of fashionable slavery which incorporates compelled work in building, accommodations and different industries linked with sporting occasions. One key driver of slavery is poverty, because it makes individuals susceptible to false affords of labor, which traffickers use to lure them in exploitative conditions. Worryingly, for the primary time in a long time, the variety of individuals residing in excessive poverty globally is rising, which means that now is an important time to intervene and shield them from exploitation.

Whilst the World Cup has put a highlight on exploitation in Qatar, the truth is that compelled labour and different types of slavery occur in every single place. It’s rife within the provide chains of the smartphones we examine the newest scores on, and of the garments we put on.

To give only one instance of what compelled labour slavery appears like as we speak, when Chandrabati took a mortgage to place her eldest daughter by way of college, she had no concept it might lure her household in slavery in a brick kiln. She spent backbreaking hours moulding and firing heavy clay bricks in gruelling warmth, with no water or pay. Even her five-year-old daughter was compelled to work.

“The proprietor’s males would always threaten that they might give us electrical shocks and take away our pores and skin in the event that they see us not working, and we lived in fixed concern,” Chandrabati remembers.

South Asia, the place Chandrabati was exploited, can be a high location for the recruitment of trafficking victims who’re delivered to Qatar.

And but, change is feasible. With IJM’s help, authorities discovered Chandrabati’s youngsters and introduced 61 individuals to security, arresting the kiln proprietor and two of his associates. Finally free and in a position to return house, IJM’s aftercare staff supported Chandrabati’s household with housing, training and alternatives for her daughters, so they might construct a greater future as a household. Today, Chandrabati is a pacesetter in her neighborhood.

Three main charities have joined forces and are calling on church buildings, avid gamers and soccer followers to unite in opposition to injustice. During this males’s World Cup, you possibly can sport, watch or give to lift very important funds for Compassion, International Justice Mission UK and Tearfund, to assist them shield individuals from exploitation.

Together, they are going to assist households by way of the worldwide meals disaster and empower communities to carry themselves out of poverty in order that they’re much less susceptible to traffickers; carry individuals trapped in slavery to security, and see perpetrators delivered to justice in order that they cannot hurt others.

They are calling on church buildings to enroll to host Justice United occasions, with totally different choices for the best way to elevate consciousness and fundraise, together with Playstation or Xbox soccer tournaments and World Cup watch events. These occasions may even act as dialog starters to assist church buildings perceive the difficulty of exploitation. Details will be discovered at

David Westlake, CEO of International Justice Mission UK, commented: “We’ve seen superb progress within the motion to finish slavery, with reductions of as much as 86% in locations the place IJM has labored – however even because the anti-slavery motion grows, components such because the pandemic, battle and local weather change imply that the issue is getting larger.

“To actually cease slavery for good, we’d like everyone to get entangled – which is why we’re delighted to be teaming up with Tearfund, Compassion and church buildings all around the UK. Through Justice United, we hope to assist church buildings benefit from the World Cup collectively while taking a stand in opposition to exploitation and understanding extra about the issue. Together, we will make an actual distinction.”

Tearfund’s Head of Church and Supporter Relations, Ruth Tormey, is encouraging church buildings to enroll: “Not solely will internet hosting Justice United occasions assist church buildings supply the enjoyable and fellowship of ‘soccer fever’ to a variety of individuals, it is going to additionally give them a pure strategy to open up conversations about among the injustices highlighted within the run as much as this 12 months’s World Cup.”

Mark Preston, Senior Director of Partnerships at Compassion UK, commented: “Hosting or participating in a Justice United occasion is a improbable strategy to benefit from the males’s soccer World Cup, realizing you are becoming a member of avid gamers and soccer followers in your neighborhood, uniting with church buildings throughout the UK, and standing with Compassion, IJM and Tearfund in opposition to injustice.”

International Justice Mission is a world organisation that protects individuals in poverty from slavery and violence. IJM’s 29 programme workplaces companion with native authorities in 17 nations to fight slavery, violence in opposition to girls and youngsters, and police abuse of energy. IJM works with authorities to carry victims to security, present trauma-informed care to survivors, maintain perpetrators accountable, and assist strengthen public justice techniques. Learn extra about IJM UK at

Tearfund is a Christian charity that companions with church buildings in additional than 50 of the world’s poorest nations. We sort out poverty by way of sustainable improvement, responding to disasters and difficult injustice. We imagine an finish to excessive poverty is feasible. Tearfund can be a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee. For extra details about the work of Tearfund, please go to

Compassion UK is a Christian youngster improvement charity. We companion with native church buildings in additional than 25 nations to launch youngsters from poverty, in Jesus’ identify. Around the world, youngsters and younger individuals are being empowered to beat poverty and thrive each now and into the longer term. To discover out extra about Compassion’s work, go to



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