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The International Trade Union Confederation claims that construction underway to prepare Qatar for hosting the 2022 World Cup will leave migrant 4,000 workers dead if current practices aren’t changed.
According to a report from British newspaper The Guardian, the ITUC says that it expects 12 workers to die per week, more than 600 per year, unless the Qatari government makes immediate reforms to better protect the 500,000 migrant workers from Nepal, India and Sri Lanka projected to flood into the country for work.
The ITUC’s shocking forecast is based on current mortality figures for Nepalese and Indian workers. These workers, mostly construction workers, make up the majority of the 1.2 million migrant workers in Qatar.
A previous Guardian report found that 44 Nepalese workers died between June 4th and August 8th of this year alone. Workers told the paper that they were forced to labor in 122-degree heat and were denied free drinking water. The workers also described overcrowded and filthy living conditions. Between 12 and 14 workers can be crammed into these labor camp rooms at one time.
The workers also described being delayed payment, some as long as 10 months, and their passports being retained, effectively forcing them to stay.
And the Indian ambassador to Qatar has said 82 Indian workers died in the first five months of this year. Another 1,460 complained to the embassy about labour conditions and consular problems. Between 2010 and 2012 more than 700 Indian workers died in Qatar.
“The evidence-based assessment of the mortality rate of migrant workers in Qatar shows that at least one worker on average per day is dying,” Sharan Burrow, the general secretary of the ITUC told The Guardian. “We are absolutely convinced they are dying because of conditions of work and life.”