British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has said he believes more than just having the right to do so, sportspeople are bound by duty to raise their voices on human rights issues in the countries they visit. Hamilton’s comments come just as the F1 action heads for Qatar for the first time this weekend.
The country currently faces new allegations of worker exploitation and wide-scale abuse as it prepares to host the 2022 football World Cup.
Workers in Qatar are calling out the country’s kafala labour sponsorship laws for being ineffective while human rights activists and groups remain up in arms about the region’s treatment of women and LGBTQ+ communities.
Hamilton said this week Qatar is considered one of the worst regions regarding human rights violations. He said places like Qatar, where equal rights remain a grim and serious issue, need to be closely scrutinised.
Even though the Danish FA has announced that it plans on criticising the abuses of human rights at next year’s World Cup, the F1 driver has said he believes more co-operative action between countries and sporting organisations to be desperately needed.
He said this week F1 races are going to take place in regions like Qatar, then the profiles of the particular situations in these regions must be raised. He said even though a single person will only ever be able to make a small difference, acting as a collective can mean a much bigger impact and even change.
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