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06/02/2014

Race to the Bottom. Exploitation of Migrant Workers Ahead of Russia’s 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi

Human Rights Watch, 2013   
ISBN: 1-56432-979-8  



When Russia hosts the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in February 2014 in the Black Sea coast city of Sochi, athletes, coaches, spectators, journalists, and other visitors will enjoy state-of-the-art sports venues, transportation systems, telecommunications, and accommodations. The rapid transformation of Sochi, formerly a quaint resort town, was made possible by an accelerated construction schedule and the efforts of tens of thousands of migrant construction workers.
This report documents the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers employed on a number of Olympic venues, including the Central Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Village, and Main Media Center. Many migrant workers told Human Rights Watch that employers refused to pay promised wages and in isolated cases failed to pay any wages at all. Workers consistently reported working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, without overtime pay, and with only one day off per month, in violation of Russian law. Some employers withheld identity documents apparently in order to coerce workers to remain in exploitative jobs.

author(s): Human Rights Watch
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