Disclosure: 6,500 migrant workers die as Qatar prepares for World Cup

more than 6,500 migrant workers He died in Qatar 10 years ago after India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka won the right to host the World Cup, patrons can reveal.

The results, compiled by government sources, mean that an average of 12 migrant workers from the five South Asian countries have been killed since the night of December 2010, when the streets of Doha were filled with crowds celebrating Qatar’s victory. Were

Statistics from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka show that there were 5,927 deaths of migrant workers between 2011 and 2020. In addition, 824 Pakistani workers were reported killed between 2010 and 2020, according to figures from the Pakistani embassy in Qatar.

Muhammad Shahid Mia |

Muhammad Shahid Miah, 29, of Bangladesh, died when floodwaters in his room came in contact with an electric cable.

The overall death toll is much higher because the figures do not include the deaths of several countries that send workers to Qatar, including the Philippines and Kenya. Excludes deaths in the last months of 2020.

Over the past 10 years, Qatar has embarked on an unprecedented building program, preparing for a massive 2022 football tournament. In addition to the seven new stadiums, several major projects have been completed or have been completed, including a new airport, roads. , Public transport system, hotels and a new city, which will host the World Cup final.

Although death records are not categorized by occupation or workplace, it is likely that many of the workers who died were employed in these World Cup infrastructure projects by the Gulf Labor Advocacy Group, Says Nick McGehan, director of Fair Square Projects. . “A significant proportion of migrant workers who have died since 2011 were in this country alone because Qatar won the right to host the World Cup,” he said.

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There have been 37 deaths among workers directly involved in the construction of World Cup stadiums, 34 of which have been classified as “non-work related” by the event’s organizing committee. Experts have questioned the use of the term because it has been used in some cases to describe the deaths that occurred on the job, including several workers who fell on stadium construction sites and Has died

These findings expose Qatar’s failure to protect its 2 million strong migrant workforce, or even investigate the causes of the seemingly high mortality rate among large-scale young workers.

World Cup staff – death toll – revised

Behind the statistics are countless stories of devastating families who have been left without their main bread, struggling to get compensation and confused about the circumstances of their loved one’s death.

Ghal Singh Rai, from Nepal, paid about £ 1,000 in recruitment fees for a job as a cleaner in a camp for workers building the Education City World Cup stadium. Within a week of his arrival, he killed himself.

Another Bangladeshi worker, Mohammad Shahid Miah, was cut off from the workers’ residence after coming in contact with exposed water.

In India, Madhu Bolapali’s family never understood how a healthy 43-year-old died of “natural causes” while working in Qatar. His body was lying on the floor of his room.

Madhu Bolapali

The deadliest deaths in Qatar have been revealed in a lengthy spreadsheet of official figures listing the causes of death: several injured from falling from a height; Suffocation due to hanging; Uncertain cause of death due to decomposition.

But of these causes, the most common is the so-called “natural death”, often attributed to severe heart or respiratory failure.

Based on data obtained by the Guardian, 69% of deaths among Indian, Nepalese and Bangladeshi workers are rated natural. Among Indians alone, that number is 80%.

The Guardian has previously reported that such classifications, which are usually made without an autopsy, often fail to provide a legal assessment of the underlying cause of death.

In 2019, it was revealed that the intense heat in Qatar is a major factor in the deaths of many workers. The Guardian’s findings are backed by a study released by the United Nations International Labor Organization, which found that workers face intense heat stress while working abroad for at least four months of the year. Had to

Nepalese workers compete for the launch of the World Cup logo. To avoid the heat, they start work long before sunrise.

Nepalese workers compete for the launch of the World Cup logo. To avoid the heat, they start work long before sunrise. Photographer: Pete Pattison

A 2014 report by the Qatari government’s own lawyers recommended that it conduct a study on the deaths of migrant workers from cardiac arrest, and amend the law to “eliminate all cases of unexpected or sudden deaths.” I … allow an autopsy. ” The government did not.

Qatar is dragging its feet on this important and urgent issue, clearly ignoring the lives of workers, said Habba Ziadin, a researcher at Gulf Human Rights Watch. “We have called on Qatar to amend its post-mortem law to require forensic investigations into sudden or unknown deaths, and to legislate to ensure that all death certificates are in place,” he said. The medical meaning of death should include a reference to a significant cause. “

Muhammad Shahid Mia |

The Qatari government says the death toll – which it does not disagree with – is proportional to the size of the migrant workforce, including white-clad workers who have lived in Qatar for many years. Are naturally dead.

“The death rate in these communities is within the expected range for population size and population. However, every lost life is a tragedy, and every effort is made to prevent every death in our country,” the Qatari government said. A spokesman said in a statement.

The official added that all citizens and foreigners have access to free first-class health care, and that the death rate among “guest workers” has continued to rise over the past decade due to health and safety reforms in the labor system. Decreased.

World Cup workers – causes of death – latest figures

Other major causes of death among Indians, Nepalese and Bangladeshis are road accidents (12%), workplace accidents (7%) and suicide (7%).

The death toll from the quake, which has been extremely low in Qatar, did not significantly affect the figures, with more than 250 deaths across all nationalities.

Ghal Singh Rai

The Guardian’s research also highlights the lack of transparency, rigor and detail in recording deaths in Qatar. Governments in embassies and sending countries to Doha are reluctant to share data for political reasons. Where statistics are provided, there are discrepancies between the statistics available to various government agencies, and there is no standard format for recording the causes of death. A South Asian embassy said it could not share data on the cause of death because it was only hand-recorded in a notebook.

“There is a real lack of clarity and transparency about these deaths,” said May Romanos, a Gulf researcher at Amnesty International. “Qatar needs to strengthen its occupational health and safety standards.”

When asked about the deaths in stadium projects, the World Cup organizing committee in Qatar said: “We deeply regret all these tragedies and make sure to investigate every incident so that Lessons to be learned.We have always maintained transparency on this issue and quarreled over false claims around the number of workers dying on our projects.

In a statement, a spokesman for FIFA, the world governing body for football, said it was fully committed to protecting workers’ rights on FIFA projects. Without providing evidence, he said, due to the low number of accidents at FIFA World Cup construction sites, “despite very strict health and safety measures at the site,” he said.


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