December 19th, 2022
The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, meant as a celebrated centrepiece of football, about love and enjoyment of the beautiful game around the world. The event sparked a wide range of controversy and debate around its host nation, its governing body and those that are spoke out against and for the world cup.
Whilst the world watched on (or didn’t) with a diverse array of opinions, we ran a campaign entitled Moral Support.
Each match day throughout the World Cup, we championed and shared the work carried out by brands, organisations and charities that chose to help and to stand, or have always stood, for communities affected, to offer guidance and insight around the subject matter.
Day 1 – Amnesty International
We kicked off the campaign off with Amnesty International – a world renowned charitable organisation that has inspired a global movement of more than 10 million people who take injustice personally, consistently campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.
They have published a series of articles and reports to help guide people through the biggest talking points and show people ways in which they can get involved, support the charity or join the cause.
Day 2 – Stonewall
For the second day of our Moral Support campaign we turned our attention towards Stonewall, a social impact organisation that provides support for LGBTQ+. Focussing on workplaces, schools and colleges, from resources and free information to advice on how handle whistleblower situations and serious complaints, Stonewall imagine a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to be themselves and can live lives to the full.
Many will already recognise the impact Stonewall have had in sport as the ‘Rainbow Laces’ have become a regular feature of top flight football. Continuing in this vein, their new campaign ‘Proud Stadium’ attempted to collect 80,000 signatures – the size of Lusail Stadium, where the World Cup Final will be held – to recognise and illustrate the importance of LGBTQ+ rights.
Visit: Proud Stadium campaign
Day 3 – UN Women
In day three of our Moral Support campaign we thought it fitting, after seeing the moving display by the Iran Men’s National Team, to highlight some amazing work being done for women’s rights. UN Women is an entity within the structure of the United Nations that works for gender equality, security and the power of women, delivering programmes, campaigns and standards that uphold women’s human rights.
The “UNiTE! Activism To End Violence Against Women and Girls!”, a global theme set by the UN Secretary General, is a campaign marking 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence. Get involved from 25 November to 10 December 2022.
Day 4 – Football Beyond Borders
For day four we turned our attention to Football Beyond Borders (FBB) and their Therapists in Tracksuits campaign, helping to support the most at-risk and vulnerable kids. Whilst the broader mission looks at helping young people from areas of socio-economic disadvantage to finish school with skills and grades, this new campaign focuses on relationships, attitude and mental health.
FBB noticed that oversubscribed CAMHS provisions and a stretched High Needs funding block were creating barriers to access for some of these kids. As an answer to this, FBB has helped provide skilled, specialist and culturally competent therapeutic practitioners within their schools programme. When Head of Policy, Joe Watfa, traveled the country he was greeted with a clear response from the kids he spoke to. More one to one therapeutic support!!
Understanding this, FBB wanted to learn more and whilst continuing the scheme they have released a report that adds to the sector’s understanding of vulnerable young peoples’ experiences with therapeutic support and how to develop upstream interventions.
Visit: Therapists in Tracksuits
Day 5 – Freedom United
On day five of our Moral Support Campaign we took a look at Freedom United, whose mission is to eradicate modern slavery across the world. Advocacy plays an important role their mission as they push employers to adhere to ethical working standards, work with partners to dismantle power structures and empower survivors to tell their story to affect things on a local level.
They have turned their attention to Qatar in this arena, to highlight the well-known worker abuses. The fact we only have rough figures of the deaths from the World Cup construction project is a problem within itself, and quite a good example of the power structures that allow employers to act with impunity.
Their hard hitting campaign to ‘End Forced Labour in Qatar’ centred around the devastation and disparity of workers falling to the ground with exhaustion; or from a great height, and not getting up, alongside football players who fall to the floor yet have the fortuity of getting back up. Freedom United have set up a web page that allows you to sign a petition calling on Qatar to implement effective reforms for migrant workers from forced labour and send a message, via email, to the FA asking them to call on FIFA to set up a compensation fund for migrant workers.
Visit: End Forced Labour in Qatar
Day 6 – White Ribbon UK
We celebrated White Ribbon Day and their #TheGoal campaign for day six of our Moral Support campaign. As a wider organisation they’re engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls, #TheGoal is a tool to advance this message. As part of this, they’ve identified a desired trait for each player in a football team XI. ‘Caring’, ‘Reliable’ and ‘Reflective’ are just some of the 11 traits that White Ribbon wants to encourage people to keep in mind on their commutes and within their work environments.
Amongst this, White Ribbon have compiled a pack of digital resources which include a full campaign briefing and fundraising pack, leaflets, social media assets and information packs for schools and the workplace. With research from the University of Lancaster showing violent domestic abuse incidents increase by 38% when England lose football matches it would be no exaggeration to label this an endemic problem within football.
Day 7 – WaterAid
On day seven of the Moral Support campaign we dived into show how WaterAid are standing up for those facing adversity. The global outreach of this organisation is truly impressive, helping millions upon millions with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. Yet there is still much more to do. Whilst physical water availability is shrinking with climate change, many areas are also affected by economic water scarcity and don’t have the infrastructure or technology to treat this problem.
One of the active initiatives running at WaterAid is ‘Boosting Business’, showing the business benefits of investing in water, sanitation and hygiene. As part of this, a research project was undertaken to get an insight into the effects water provisions had on productivity, absenteeism, attrition and punctuality in four different sectors.
Visit: Boosting Business
Day 8 – Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth have been campaigning for people and the planet since 1971, and on day eight of our Moral Support campaign we looked at the strong grassroots element of their campaigning. As the largest grassroots network across the UK, Friends of the Earth are a prime example of local organising as well as building a network of skilled supporters that can be called on to fight in the courts, spread the message or protest.
One of the key tenets of their grassroots movement is enabling anyone to get involved through their website, no matter how much experience a person has. Whether entering a postcode to find local campaigns, take parting in petitions and volunteering or gaining access to climate groups, there’s always something you can do.
Visit the link to get involved: Get Involved
Day 9 – Refugee Council
Day nine of the Moral Support campaign that we ran alongside the World Cup and we turned our attention to the Refugee Council. A UK based charity that’s been championing the rights of refugees since 1951. They work with over 13,000 women, men and children each year who are desperately seeking safety.
Whilst contending with the immediate issue of displaced persons, the Refugee Council tackle many of the issues that come as a consequence of this by providing mental health, integration and employment support. Their advocacy programmes engage lawmakers in an effort to advance refugee protection schemes as well as communicating the systemic issues that are faced by refugees.
Visit the link to see some of their work: Our Work
Day 10 – Hare & Hounds
On day 10 we highlighted a smaller but no-less important movement from the Hare and Hounds pub in Birmingham, Kings Heath, who encourage their patrons to participate in a voluntary donation box at the door that will go to a local LGBT charity. They also donated 10% of their venue bar take from each day that they screen a match. What they’re doing is put best by co-owner, Mr Regan himself, “The LGBT community is a huge part of what we do here and we wanted to show support and solidarity, but also with football fans, who want to watch the game”. Pubs have a huge grassroots connection to the game and we’re big fans of this.
Visit: Hare & Hounds – News
Day 11 – Equidem
On day 11 of our Moral Support campaign we decided to shine a light on Equidem. Kaleido Grafik and Ico Design set up Humanity FC, in support of Equidem, as a creative response to support the plight of migrant workers in Qatar, assembling 32 creatives to create a unique football and run a raffle for it. Showing that although we may cheer different teams, ultimately we’re on the same side: Humanity FC. Equidem are a charity that specialise in research and consultancy for human and labour rights and have provided key research on the human cost of the Qatar World Cup.
Visit: Humanity FC
Day 12 – Josimar
On day 12 we looked at Josimar, an independent Norwegian football magazine, going under the skin of the beautiful game, to show football’s greatness, but also to uncover the darker side of football – the political battles, how regimes are abusing football to whitewash their image, the rampant corruption and cronyism. The latest issue included a feature with African security guards who haven’t been paid for two months, an investigation into money laundering techniques in the Premier League and the carbon footprint of this World Cup and a great article from football writer, Phillip Auclair, entitled Don’t Look Up. These are just a few examples of the high-quality investigative journalism that the outlet has to offer. Worth grabbing a copy, reading a few articles on their website or giving your support.
Visit: Josimar – Don’t Look Up
Day 13 – SOS Children’s Villages
Day 13 of the Moral Support campaign brought on SOS Children’s Villages, who have been operating at the centre of emergency relief work since 1949 with rehousing, education, therapy and much more. Their focus, however, is to support the children in these disasters. More than 140 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents and with the continued work of SOS Children’s Villages they have an ally they can trust. Furthermore, the players from Germany’s national football team pledged a €1m donation to an SOS Children’s Village in Nepal with the aim to support children of migrant workers in Qatar who lost their fathers and can’t get an education.
Day 14 – National Youth Advisory Service
Moving into day 14 of our Moral Support campaign we showcased the work of the National Youth Advisory Service, who provide support for people in England and Wales.
Working with local authorities, private settings and third-sector organisations, they seek to surpass being an advocacy group and play an active role helping those subjected to children protection procedures, children with disabilities and those at risk of entering the care system.
Their mental health services, run by specialists, provide external support to severely underfunded councils and has created a stronger safety net for vulnerable children in the UK.
Day 15 – Aegis Trust
We wanted to highlight the work of Aegis on day 15 of our Moral Support campaign. Aegis is a British, non-government organisation that works to prevent genocide and mass atrocities worldwide.
Founded in 2000, Aegis Trust coordinates the UK Genocide Prevention All-Party Parliamentary Group, funds the Genocide Prevention Group (Canada) and is responsible the Kigali Genocide memorial Centre in Rwanda, which commemorates the 1994 genocide.
Central in the pursuit of teaching a new generation about the dangers of ethnic division, the Aegis Trust is another great example of thought leadership in the sector.
You can donate to help rebuild lives, fight hatred through education and wider advocacy.
Day 16 – The Fund for Global Human Rights
For day 16 of the Moral Support campaign we showcased the work of the Global Fund for Human Rights, who recognised a critical gap in the charity sector; the connection between grassroots human rights defenders and flexible funding and long-term strategic support. To solve this, their mission is to identify and invest in effective organisations who are on the frontline of a range of causes. Supporting activists in over 50 countries and providing over £124,000,000 of funding since their founding in 2002.
We wanted to showcase a good example of industry leadership from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime on day 17 of our Moral Support campaign, who came out with a piece cautioning Qatar for its abuses and giving it ‘Red cards’.
It is not lost on anyone that football has long had deep links to a variety of crimes. The best example being the 15 of FIFA’s 22 voting executive members having faced criminal charges for illicit activities including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.
The piece outlines Qatar’s Kafala system, a separate human trafficking problem, counterfeit products, cybersecurity and data rights as well as the ways in which Qatar have either contributed or fought such activities.
Visit: Red Cards for Qatar
Day 18 – Outright International
On day 18 of our Moral Support campaign that we ran in tandem with the Qatar World Cup. We took a look at Outright International, an LGBTIQ+ charity who aim to amplify, advocate and carry the voice of activists on the global causes surrounding these issues.
Whilst highlighting essential campaigns and work helping to end discrimination through collective might and innovative advocacy. A key component of the collectivity that Outright International pursue is the valuable service of providing a hub of information and exchange of ideas with news, commentaries and announcements from movement leaders and experts.
Day 19 – REDRESS
We showcased REDRESS, a London based human rights organisation, for the 19th day of our Moral Support campaign.
Their work is predominantly focussed on helping survivors of torture claim reparations in the form of compensation, rehabilitation and an official acknowledgement of the wrongdoing.
REDRESS also provide key training through holistic strategic litigation against torture, where they provide mentoring for partner NGOs on techniques to ensure survivors are helped with psychosocial support.
Visit: REDRESS – Impact
Day 20 – International Justice Mission
On day 20 of our Moral Support campaign we looked at the work of the International Justice Mission, Tearfund and Compassion UK who have collaborated to create Justice United. A vehicle to take positive action against the exploitation and slavery that is happening everywhere throughout our global supply chains and structures. Justice United worked to empower communities to lift themselves out of poverty so they’re less vulnerable to traffickers.
You could host a virtual football tournament or a watch party at a local church to fundraise for Justice United, all the provisions will be sent to you; promotional materials, a ‘how to…’ guide, a video resource and much more.
Visit: Get Involved
Day 21 – Homeless World Cup
On day 21 of our Moral Support campaign we showcased the Homeless World Cup. The organisation uses its global network to bring together more than 70 grassroots organisations that are using football to tackle homelessness and social isolation, culminating in an annual tournament. They also support day-to-day work by facilitating skill sharing and development.
The tournament has seen 81 nations play with over 100,000 homeless people involved every year. A stable of values are reinforced that complement cooperation, security and mental health, yet, the tournament and teams are the primary conduits for helping homelessness. 83% of those involved have improved social relations with friends and family.
Day 22 – This Fan Girl
The penultimate day of the World Cup was upon us, and for day 22 we looked at an organisation that is tackling the problem of physical female security and mental health. This Fan Girl cites research that shows 1 in 2 women report feeling unsafe on their own at home in comparison to 1 in 7 men.
For the World Cup This Fan Girl have created a World Cup Pub Charter, based on their experiences being female football fans and provides their recommendations for small things pubs can do to improve the feeling of safety in their venues.
You can see the Charter here: Pub Charter
Day 23 – Centre for Sport and Human Rights
As the dust of the thrilling World Cup final settled and with it the end of our Moral Support campaign. On day 22 we showcased the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, who’re trying to act collectively to align the world of sport with the principles of human rights. Being invited to support Qatar with real-time human rights due diligence is a forward step to bringing together an unprecedented alliance of institutions through the power of sport.
Their website is full of tools, resources, reports, events and a news initiative called the Global Sport and Human Rights Academy – all the good stuff!
Learn more about the academy here: Global Sport and Human Rights Academy
The Moral Support campaign saw the team at ResponsibleBrands traverse a variety of causes and organisations that truly inspired us. Whilst we interact with many organisations like those that we showcased, on a daily basis, it’s refreshing to see the breadth of committed people that are putting so much time and effort into helping others. The third-sector is truly a marvellous safety net and vital support system for an innumerous amount of people.
Showing these examples alongside possibly the most extreme case of sportswashing since the 1936 Olympics was an interesting balancing act. The amount of initiatives that were accessible to those that either fell into trouble during the competition, wanted to have an impact on an issue or simply hoped to learn more about the causes that were being mentioned is exceptional.
Thank you to everyone involved and thanks again to the remarkable brands that were part of it. We hope this campaign has helped to further shed light on your causes.
Written by Charlie Ruddle, Project Manager, Hatched.
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