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6,500 Asian Workers Died Building FIFA World Cup 2022 Stadiums In Qatar

Published: February 25, 2021
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Deaths of more than 6,500 South Asian workers has been reported in Qatar building stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2022 from 2011 to 2020. An average of 12 migrant workers died each week in 2011 to 2020. The sources suggest slack safety protocols surrounding construction of stadiums and infrastructure in Qatar were the reason for these deaths.

Qatar was awarded the FIFA World Cup 2022 hosting in 2010 and death of migrant workers has been reported since then.

An average of 12 migrant workers died each week in 2011 to 2020. The sources suggest slack safety protocols surrounding construction of stadiums and infrastructure in Qatar were the reason for these deaths.

These migrant workers were from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and India. Government data from these countries reported 5,927 deaths and the Pakistan Embassy in Qatar further reported 824 deaths.

This death toll may be a bit higher as the number of workers deaths from the Philippines and Kenya were not included in it (from final months of 2020).

The Kafala system in Qatar has been controversial that tied workers to employers.

This system did not allow workers to change their jobs without the permission of the employer. This treatment of migrant workers was criticised by human and labour rights organisations. 

No doubt, the Kafala system was ended by Qatar in September 2020, but things are still not good. It still has a poor record on rights of migrant workers, low wages, and delayed payment for months sometimes. 

As per the sources, official reasons of these deaths include undetermined cause of death due to decomposition, asphyxia due to hanging and multiple blunt injuries due to a fall from height.

This official data reveals that the common reason was natural deaths associated with respiratory failure and acute heart failure. 

2,711 Indian migrant workers died between 2011 to 2020, out of 2711, 80 percent deaths were counted as ‘natural deaths’.

Qatar says, the number of migrant workers death is proportional to workforce size in the country.

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