6,500 migrant workers sacrificed for Qatar’s World Cup dream, report says

At least 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died during the 10 years of construction of the 2022 World Cup facilities in Qatar due to poor working conditions and a lack of training, depending on Guardian. The shocking figure is probably vastly underestimated as no figures are available for migrant deaths due to workers in Kenya or the Philippines.

Massive works are underway, in addition to the conversion of the Khalifa stadium and the construction of seven additional World Cup-level stadiums, including a new airport, new hotels, new roads and public transport and an entire new city. under construction just for the World Cup final. celebrations.

Qatar’s human rights record has come under scrutiny since the country won the bid to host the international event. Amnesty International issued a damning report accusing the wealthy country of lying to migrants to get them to come to work. Many workers have paid high fees to recruiting companies hired by the Qatari government to cover transport and accommodation. Many of them could not afford the fees so they got loans to repay.

Once in Qatar, they would be forced to live in squalid conditions and often not get paid on time or what they were promised. “Workers often live in cramped, dirty and unsanitary housing,” Amnesty International reported. “Recruiting agents also make false promises about the wages workers will receive and the type of job offered. A worker was promised a salary of $ 300 per month in Nepal, but that amount turned out to be $ 190 once he started working in Qatar.

Payments are also often delayed, preventing workers from sending money home or making payments on recruitment-related loans that they have often been forced to take out.

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 countries have died every week. This figure could be twice as high if the death records of other migrants were published.

Many of these deaths are due to poorly trained workers in construction site safety and the extreme heat conditions of the Arab nation, but some have died in their bedrooms. A 29-year-old Bangladeshi man named Mohammad Shahid Miah died when floodwaters in his bedroom came in contact with an exposed power cable, electrocuting him, according to the Guardian.

Amnesty International also reports that all of the migrant workers they interviewed were stripped of their identity papers upon arrival and did not receive renewed residence permits, preventing them from leaving the country. Workers are also prohibited from changing jobs, forcing them to honor contracts signed without legal advice.

The average monthly salary of those working on the conversion of the Khalifa stadium for the games is $ 220, according to Amnesty International, while the main contractor receives more than $ 35 million.

The Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this month with the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar to raise public awareness of human rights issues during the hosting of the World Cup. “The SC has worked tirelessly to protect the health, safety and well-being of all workers engaged in the Qatar 2022 project. We are proud of our achievements over the past 10 years and believe that our actions have created a benchmark for excellence, not only in Qatar, but throughout the region and the world, ”Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said.

The World Cup will take place from November 21 to December 18, 2022, with 32 teams competing in eight stadiums.

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