It seems that the World Cup construction in Qatar will be marked by a series of migrant workers injuries and deaths as well as serious mistreatments according to recent reports by The Guardian. International organizations and victims’ groups are pressing on the Emirate to halt death toll and exploitation before the 2022 World Cup.
Reports have reveal that:
- 4,000 migrants may die before the World Cup construction.
- Several Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.
- Workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.
- Some laborers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.
- About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.
These allegations over the treatment of migrant workers prompted the international community as well as the representatives of the families of migrant workers who died or were injured on building sites to condemn and force Qatar to change the situation.
The British Minister of Sports stressed that the delivery of every major sports event requires the very highest standards of health and safety.
The relatives of migrant workers called on Fifa to hand the tournament to another country, unless the Doha leadership can quickly guarantee worker safety. It is believed that Fifa is so influential that if the organization exerts put pressure on Qatari authorities, then they will definitely change.
Why worker safety matters to Qatar
Migrant workers amount to an astonishing 94% of Qatar’s workforce, and the country has the highest ratio of migrants to citizens in the world. The country may recruit up to a million additional migrant construction workers in the next decade to build the stadiums and infrastructure improvements Qatar promised in its bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup football tournament.
Since the vast majority of the country’s workforce depends on migrant workers, the government is better off investing in this target group by training it, developing it and safeguarding its well being. The key then for Qatar is to preserve its manpower and keep it stable for years. Volatility in a country’s manpower may have negative effects in the state’s economy.
Consequently, the government needs to ensure that the high-tech stadiums it’s planning to build for World Cup fans are not built on the backs of abused and exploited workers.
Picture taken from Alamy (http://www.dailymail.co.uk)