Sanctions-riddled Russia wants to tone down operational costs for the upcoming 2018 World Cup. To meet this goal, the country will utilize as workers people in its prison camps.
Alexander Khinshtein, a lawmaker from the ruling United Russia Party, submitted a proposal urging the federal government to allow prisoners work outside prison walls, primarily at the factories and building sites that cater to the preparations for the 2018 World Cup. Russian Legal Information Agency reports that prisoners in Russia under the current law are allowed to work as long as within prison walls.
Russia allotted a total of US$12.7 billion for the World Cup expected to occur three years from now. But with the international sanctions and the dropping oil prices, this figure could balloon.
The Federal Penitentiary Service reportedly supports the proposal and is working on the details that will be submitted to the parliament.
“It’ll help in the sense that there will be the opportunity to acquire building materials for a lower price, lower than there is currently on the market,” Khinshtein told The Associated Press.
Alexander Rudy, deputy director of FPS, cited by New York Daily News, told Kommersant newspaper that the tasks to be assigned to prison labor will be those that “wouldn’t appeal to the ordinary citizens.”
BBC reports there are over 870,000 prisoners scattered throughout the country.
The prisoners who will get hired on the World Cup project could receive a salary of $300 per month, Khinshtein said. The Moscow Times says the figure is less than half the average salary free working citizens receive in the country. The Russians’ typical salary in 2014 was $780 per month.
The workers will be transported to their place of work each day and will continue to live in their prison camps at the end of the day. All the host cities for the 2018 World Cup are located west of Siberia, where many of Russia’s largest prison camps can be seen. The host cities include Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Sochi, Roston-on-Don, Vogograd, Samara, Ekaterinbug, Kazan and Saransk.
FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer, when asked by the AP for comments regarding Russia’s plans to use prison labor, declined to comment.
“We have not received any information on the below mentioned plans yet.”