Qatar: 6,500 migrant workers have died in World Cup host country since 2010

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Feb 23, 2021, 07.06 PM(IST)

File photo: Workers walk towards the construction site of the Lusail stadium which will be build for the upcoming 2022 Fifa soccer World Cup during a stadium tour in Doha, Qatar. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Government data from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka recorded 5,927 deaths during this period, while Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar reported a further 824 deaths.

Over 6,500 migrant workers from South Asian countries have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the Fifa World Cup in 2010, based on data compiled from government sources.

According to data compiled by the British news and media website Guardian, an average of 12 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died each week in the period between 2011 and 2020.

Government data from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka recorded 5,927 deaths during this period, while Pakistan’s embassy in Qatar reported a further 824 deaths.

Of these, the number of Indian migrant workers who have died is 2,711 — the highest among the five nations.

Deaths from the final months of 2020 as well as from nations such as Kenya and the Philippines were not included in the total, meaning the death toll is potentially even higher.

Qatar has a migrant workforce of 20 lakh. The findings in the report, compiled from government sources, show the country’s failure to protect its migrant workforce. The devastated families who have lost their breadwinners are still struggling to gain compensation.

One of the wealthiest countries in the world, the oil-rich Gulf nation said last year it had introduced a series of reforms to improve workers' rights and conditions, such as outlawing the Kafala system that ties a worker to their employer and prevents them from leaving Qatar without their employer's permission.

Qatar’s human rights record has been the subject of scrutiny since the nation won the bid to host the international event.

Amnesty International has published a report accusing the wealthy country of lying to migrants to entice them to come work. Many workers paid hefty fees to recruitment firms hired by the Qatari government to cover transportation and accommodation. Many of them could not afford the fees so they were given loans they have to pay back.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App