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Russia exploiting workers at Olympic venue - report

Huge construction projects are underway at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Russia will be hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. The work includes extensive upgrades of roads and other infrastructure, as well as building most of the sports venues from scratch. But according to a Human Rights Watch report released on Wednesday, the intensive construction has come at the cost of human rights abuses of migrant workers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH RESEARCHER YULYA GORBUNOVA: "What we found in the course of our research was that Russian authorities and companies involved in preparations for the Sochi Olympics in many cases have violated the rights of the workers." The reports say some employers at key Olympic sites cheated workers out of wages, confiscated workers' documents and denied them adequate rest. Sochi's Mayor though played down Human Rights Watch's findings. He said that the mayor's office had only received two complaints with regards to labour abuses, saying he was unaware of any 'mass abuse'. Russia will spend more than 50 billion US dollars worth of public and private funds to stage the Winter Games in February 2014 - the first time the country has hosted the prestigious event.

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