Russia developing plan to use prison labor for 2018 World Cup

Monday May 25th, 2015

Russian authorities are developing plans to utilize prison labor for construction projections relating to the 2018 World Cup, reports the Associated Press.

The Russian prison service is supporting a bid by United Russia party lawmaker Alexander Khinshtein that would transport prisoners from their camps to work at factories producing materials for World Cup construction projects.

Given strains on Russia's $12.7 billion (637.6 billion rubles) budget for the World Cup—the ruble is worth about a third less against the dollar than it was at the beginning of 2014, according to the AP—the prison labor plan would aim to drive down the costs of building materials for World cup projects.

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Khinshtein said Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service is working with him on the proposal, which will be submitted to parliament “soon.”

“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 said. “And apart from that it’ll make it possible to get prisoners into work, which is very positive.”

Russian prison labor proposals have previously faced allegations of prisoners being underpaid and/or forced to work long hours. Khinshtein told the AP the typical wage for a prisoner on labor construction projects might be about $300 (15,000 rubles) per month.

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