At least 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died during the 10-year construction of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup facilities due to poor working conditions and lack of training, according to the guardian. The shocking figure is likely grossly underestimated because no figures are available on migrant deaths of workers from Kenya or the Philippines.
Massive development work is underway, in addition to the conversion of the Khalifa Stadium and the construction of seven additional World Cup-level stadiums, as well as a new airport, new hotels, new roads and public transportation, and is under construction. a completely new city. for the celebrations of the World Cup final.
Qatar’s human rights record has come under scrutiny since the nation won the bid to host the international event. Amnesty International released a damning report accusing the rich country of lying to migrants to lure them to work. Many workers paid high fees to recruitment companies contracted by the Qatari government to cover transportation and accommodation. Many of them could not pay the fees, so they were granted loans that they had to repay.
Once in Qatar, they are allegedly forced to live in miserable conditions and are often not paid on time or as promised. “Workers often live in cramped, dirty and unsafe accommodation,” Amnesty International reported. “Hiring agents also make false promises about the salary workers will receive and the type of work they offer. A worker was promised a salary of $ 300 a month in Nepal, but it turned out to be $ 190 once he started working in Qatar.
Payments are also often late, leaving workers unable to send money home or make loan payments related to the hiring they were often forced to obtain.
the guardian estimates that in the past 10 years since Qatar won the bid to host the event, an average of 12 migrant workers from South Asian nations have died each week. That number could be double if records of other migrant deaths are released.
Many of the deaths are due to the fact that workers are poorly trained in construction site safety and extreme heat conditions in the Arab nation, but some have died in their sleeping areas. A 29-year-old Bangladeshi man named Mohammad Shahid Miah died when flood water in his room came into contact with an exposed electrical wire and electrocuted him, according to the guardian.
Amnesty International also reports that all migrant workers they interviewed had their identity documents stripped upon arrival and their residence permits were not renewed, which means that they cannot leave the country. Workers are also prohibited from changing jobs, forcing them to adhere to contracts that were signed without legal advice.
The average monthly salary for those working to convert the Khalifa Stadium for the games is $ 220, according to Amnesty International, while the main subcontractor is paid more than $ 35 million.
Qatar’s Supreme Delivery and Legacy Committee (SC) and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC signed a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this month with the Qatar National Human Rights Committee to raise awareness of human rights issues. in the delivery of the World Cup. “The SC has worked tirelessly to protect the health, safety and well-being of all workers involved in the Qatar 2022 project. We are proud of our achievements over the last 10 years and we strongly believe that our actions have created a benchmark for excellence, not only in Qatar, but throughout the region and around the world ”, Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Court. Delivery and Legacy Committee said.
The World Cup will be held from November 21 to December 18, 2022, with 32 teams competing in eight stadiums.