Students at the University of Sheffield hosted a panel talk to discuss the human rights violations in Qatar during this World Cup joined by Amnesty International UK.
Due to the human rights violations and controversies associated with Qatar hosting the tournament, Iwan James, Well-being and Sports Officer of the SU and Sheffield Student Union was struggling with whether to show it or not.
Mr James said: “We eventually decided to show it because we wanted a safe space for our students to watch their countries’ matches.
“But we knew we had to do something, so we decided to raise awareness about the human rights issues, primarily LGBTQ+, workers’ and women’s rights.”
The SU Officer and his team decided to raise money for the appropriate charities, including posters and social media posts highlighting the issues with a QR code to their website, a donation link, and the panel talk.
Donation buckets and RAG card readers were also available on the penal talk night to make the funding even easier.
Mr James said: “Eden Houses, SayIt and Amnesty International are the christies we thought are the best to represent the areas we wanted to support.”
The panel talk was joined by representatives of the LGBTQ+ community, Amnesty International Society and Feminism Society to discuss human rights issues.
He adds: “The talk itself was fairly well attended and brought about some really interesting discussions about Western hypocrisy, the corruption in FIFA, sports washing and various other points that we discussed at length.
“I felt it was important to have these talks to show we weren’t turning a blind eye and we were acknowledging what was happening whilst also exploring how we can continue to pressure the groups who make these decisions and ensure that there was potential for positive change after this World Cup.”
James and his team are not planning any further talks, but they will continue to raise money through RAG for the charities.