More than 6,500 guest workers have died in the host country of Qatar since the 2022 World Cup was awarded ten years ago. This is the result of an evaluation by the Guardian, which was published on Tuesday.
The information about the deaths comes from inquiries to the governments of the countries of origin, the victims come mainly from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
According to the newspaper, the actual death rate is likely to be considerably higher: According to the Guardian, the figures shown do not include any information on workers from the Philippines and Kenya, who also make up a large number of guest workers in Qatar. Cases from the last months of 2020 are also not included.
Ongoing topic of human rights violations
Over the past decade, Qatar has adopted an unprecedented building program in preparation for the World Cup. In addition to seven new stadiums, a new airport, an underground network, numerous hotels and other infrastructure have been and are being built from scratch.
According to the Guardian, deaths are not differentiated in the statistics according to workplace. But it is likely that the deceased were employed on one of these World Cup construction sites, said Nick McGeehan, an expert on labor law in the Gulf: “A very large proportion of the guest workers who have died since 2011 were only in the country because Qatar Awarding the World Cup decided. ”
37 deaths are directly attributable to the construction sites of the World Cup stadiums.
The report cites injuries as causes of death, for example, in which workers fell from a height or strangled – or collapsed with cardiovascular failure.
When asked about the deaths in the stadium projects, the World Cup Organizing Committee said: “We deeply regret all of these tragedies and have investigated each incident to ensure that lessons were learned. We have always been transparent about this matter and deny inaccurate claims about the number of workers who died on our projects. ”
The world football association Fifa said in response to a request from the Guardian that it was fully committed to protecting the rights of workers in Fifa projects. “
The frequency of accidents on the construction sites of the Fifa World Cup has so far been low compared to other major construction projects in the world.” However, Fifa did not provide any evidence for this.
Human rights violations against guest workers have been an issue again and again since the World Cup was held in Qatar. In the past few years there had been repeated research by the media and human rights organizations that reported glaring grievances. Accordingly, workers were not paid their wages, and passports were confiscated to prevent them from leaving the country. Housing and working conditions were precarious, and there were also the deaths mentioned. According to reports, Qatar has so far only inadequately implemented announced reforms.