Over 400 Nepalese workers killed in Qatar World Cup construction

This video says about itself:

A labourer and electrician tell all about working in Qatar

27 Sep 2012

International unions, the ITUC and BWI, have issued a formal complaint to the International Labour Organisation, presenting evidence that Qatar is breaching global freedom of association standards by refusing to recognise the rights of migrant workers. Watch these Nepalese workers talk about what working life in Qatar is really like.

From weekly The Observer in Britain:

Qatar World Cup: 400 Nepalese have died since construction began

Calls grow for Fifa to take decisive action as human-rights group prepares to release report on mounting death toll

Jamie Doward

Saturday 15 February 2014 23.21 GMT

More than 400 Nepalese migrant workers have died on Qatar‘s World Cup building sites as the Gulf state prepares to host the event in 2022, a report will reveal this week.

The grim statistic comes from the Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee, a respected human rights organisation which compiles lists of the dead using official sources in Doha. It will pile new pressure on the Qatari authorities – and on football’s world governing body, Fifa – to curb a mounting death toll that some are warning could hit 4,000 by the time the 2022 finals take place.

It also raises the question of how many migrant workers in total have died on construction sites since Qatar won the bid in 2010. Nepalese workers comprise 20% of Qatar’s migrant workforce, and many others are drafted in from countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

A focus on the Nepalese deaths has seen Fifa and Qatar battling a PR crisis that threatens to cast a long shadow over the event. Last week, appearing before EU officials, Theo Zwanziger, a senior Fifa executive who has publicly criticised the decision to award the tournament to Qatar, pledged that his organisation would be carrying out “on-the-spot visits” to ensure that workers’ rights were being respected.

But the promise is unlikely to reassure human rights organisations and labour groups, which have raised repeated concerns about Qatar‘s kafala employment system, under which migrant workers are tied to their “sponsor” employers.

Qatar’s World Cup authorities recently issued detailed guidelines that they hope will address concerns about their employment laws. The 50-page report, Workers’ Welfare Standards, provides a breakdown of the guidelines that 2022 organisers expect contractors and sub-contractors to observe. But this has not stopped the death toll rising, nor continuing international criticism.

Jim Murphy, Labour’s shadow international development minister, who is expected to visit Qatar soon, raised the issue again this week. Writing in the Guardian, Murphy said: “People don’t have to die to bring us this or any other World Cup or sporting event; not a single worker died building the sites for the London 2012 Olympics. According to the International TUC, the 2022 World Cup risks 4,000 lives.”

The continued criticism will prove embarrassing for Qatar as it prepares for a visit from Prince Charles.

The symbolic total of 400 deaths, which the Observer understands will be confirmed in the next few days, will also invite questions not only about working conditions on sites but also about the treatment of construction workers.

The Observer has learned of the horrific case of Noka Bir Moktan, a 23-year-old who was said to have died of “sudden cardiac arrest” in October 2013, although photos of his corpse show he suffered a collapsed chest, apparently consistent with ill-treatment.

Moktan’s family come from a poor village in Nepal’s remote hill district of Ilam. His elderly father borrowed 175,000 rupees (about £1,000) to pay for his passage and agency fees to Qatar, in the hope that he would be able to send some of his earnings home. The money was borrowed from a loan shark and was supposed to be reimbursed by Moktan’s Qatari employer, but this did not happen. The family now fear that the loan shark will demand that Moktan’s two sisters, aged 14 and 16, who were collateral for the loan, be sent to work in brothels in Mumbai to pay off the debt.

Moktan’s tragic case is far from untypical. Last November, Amnesty International issued a report warning that many workers were complaining about poor health and safety standards, including some who said they were not issued with helmets on sites. A representative of Doha’s main hospital stated that more than 1,000 people were admitted to its trauma unit in 2012 having fallen from heights at work.

Researchers also found migrant workers living in squalid, overcrowded accommodation with no air-conditioning and overflowing sewage. Several camps lacked power and researchers found one large group of men living without running water.

“It is simply inexcusable in one of the richest countries in the world that so many migrant workers are being ruthlessly exploited, deprived of their pay and left struggling to survive,” Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International, said at the time the report was published.

Some have gone as far as to call for Qatar to lose its right to host the tournament. But Zwanziger said such a move would be “counterproductive”. He told the European parliament sub-committee on human rights that “it would simply mean that the spotlight would be put away from them”.

Enhanced by Zemanta

39 thoughts on “Over 400 Nepalese workers killed in Qatar World Cup construction

  1. Pingback: Over 700 Indian workers killed in Qatar World Cup construction | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Qatar, football and human rights violations | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Brazilian football World Cup safety concerns | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Many immigrant workers dying in Qatar | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Women workers jailed by Qatar dictatorship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Protest against Qatari oppression of workers, London this Monday | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: In Qatar, World Cup construction workers keep dying | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Problems of Nepalese workers highlighted

    By ANIQA HAIDER, Posted on » Saturday, May 10, 2014

    THE importance of regulating foreign employment sector in the GCC to safeguard the rights of Nepalese workers was highlighted during a high-level meeting.

    Nepalese diplomats from Gulf countries gathered in Bahrain yesterday to discuss labour issues facing their nationals.

    The two-day conference, called fourth Non-Resident Nepali Association Middle East regional meeting, was held at the Best Western Plus, The Olive. Present was Nepalese Labour Ministry foreign employment head Krishna Hari Pushkar, who spoke about safe migration and forced labour.

    He said his government was working to implement legislation related to reforms in the foreign employment industry, which constitutes around 25 per cent of the national GDP.

    “More than two million Nepalese have gone for foreign employment until the fiscal year 2012/2013,” he said.

    “Around 1,500 to 2,000 people go for foreign employment daily and 56pc of households in Nepal receive remittance from family members working overseas.

    “Remittance totalling 1.19 billion rupees is received in a day in the country.”

    Problems facing domestic workers were also discussed.



  9. Pingback: Football boss admits World Cup in Qatar was mistake | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Migrant workers treated cruelly in Abu Dhabi | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Dutch corporations help violating workers’ rights in Qatar | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Workers strike in Kuwait, Oman absolute monarchies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Qatar workers’ exploitation continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: Qatar slave labour and London university UCL | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Pingback: Qatar regime arrests human rights investigators | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  16. Pingback: Qatar regime arrests human rights investigators | The Socialist

  17. Pingback: British trade unions against World Cup in Qatar, TTIP, Ukraine war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  18. Pingback: Stop exploitation of workers in Qatar | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  19. Pingback: Qatar dictatorship exploits construction workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  20. Pingback: Qatar, dictatorship and athletics championship | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  21. Pingback: Qatar dictatorship arrests striking workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  22. Pingback: Workers in Qatar exploited, poets jailed, FIFA silent | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  23. Pingback: Qatar regime arrests journalists investigating football World Cup corruption | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  24. Pingback: Blatter opposes Palestine’s Motion to Suspend Israel from Football over Abuses | JSC: Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba

  25. Pingback: Football World Cup in dictatorial Qatar, workers die | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  26. Pingback: New book, app, about birds in Qatar | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  27. Pingback: Who will succeed Blatter as world football boss? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  28. Pingback: Qatar’s abuse of workers, new report | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  29. Pingback: Another worker dies at Qatar football World Cup stadium | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  30. Pingback: New labour law, still old exploitation in Qatar | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  31. Pingback: Uber drivers in Qatar strike | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  32. Pingback: Saudi-Qatar absolute monarchies quarrel | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  33. Pingback: Egyptian workers in Qatar victims of conflict between dictators | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  34. Pingback: Qatar-Saudi gas conflict, Trump and Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  35. Pingback: Saudi-Qatari conflict and Donald Trump | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  36. Pingback: Unsafe work kills, injures Dutch workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  37. Pingback: ‘Google, Apple, Facebook help slave trade’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  38. Pingback: Coronavirus crisis, worldwide | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  39. Pingback: Qatar World Cup stadium construction, without pay | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.