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'Slaves Worked to Death' Building Qatar's World Cup Paradise - Report

World  (tags: Qatar, slaves, World Cup, Deaths, human rights )

- 1974 days ago -
One construction worker a day dies as Qatar seeks to build facilities for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. That's the finding of The Guardian newspaper, which characterizes the conditions facing migrant workers in the country as "slave labor."


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Beth S (330)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 1:29 pm

"One construction worker a day dies as Qatar seeks to build facilities for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. That’s the finding of The Guardian newspaper, which characterizes the conditions facing migrant workers in the country as “slave labor.”

Qatar, along with other Gulf nations, uses the so-called “kafala” system, under which each foreign worker hired to in the country needs a “sponsor,” usually their employer. Permission from the sponsor is needed to enter or leave country, or to change jobs. The company is also responsible for issuing IDs, without which workers are reduced to the status of foreign aliens with no legal protection.

The system in practice leaves the migrant workers at the mercy of their employers, who can refuse to pay wages, withhold documents and thus leave workers stranded, force them to work long hours in hazardous conditions and exploit and abuse them in other ways.

Qatar has the highest ratio of migrant workers to domestic population, according to the nation’s cable TV network Al Jazeera. The Arab monarchy, enriched by the sale of natural gas, has a population of roughly 1.7 million, with 94 per cent believed to be foreigners, mostly unskilled workers. The country is expected to hire up to 1.5 million more laborers to build the stadiums, roads, ports and hotels needed for the 2022 tournament.
The Guardian reported Wednesday that desperate people from Nepal, one of Asia’s poorest nations, make up 40 per cent of the laborers in Qatar. Between June 4 and August 8 at least 44 of them died, the newspaper said, citing documents obtained by the Nepalese Embassy in Doha. More than half the deaths were due to heart attacks, heart failure and workplace accidents, the newspaper said.

Other evidence cited by the newspaper points to horrific conditions for migrant workers. Some said they were forced to work long hours in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius without access to drinking water. Many complained that they were not paid for months and were unable to pay off their debts to recruiting agents at home, yet alone send money back to their families.

One worker told journalists how his manager assaulted him for complaining about being forced to work on an empty stomach for an entire day. He was then kicked out of the labor camp and had to beg for food from other workers.

Some of the reports came from Lusail City development, a $45 billion city where Qatar plans to erect a 90,000-seater stadium that will host the World Cup final. FIFA pledged that it will address concerns over labor rights in Qatar after giving the kingdom the right to host the World Cup.

“The evidence uncovered by the Guardian is clear proof of the use of systematic forced labor in Qatar," said Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International. "In fact, these working conditions and the astonishing number of deaths of vulnerable workers go beyond forced labor to the slavery of old where human beings were treated as objects. There is no longer a risk that the World Cup might be built on forced labor. It is already happening.”

Qatar is to spend an estimated $100 billion on infrastructure projects to support the World Cup. As well as nine state-of-the-art stadiums, the country has committed to spend $20 billion on new roads, $4 billion for a causeway connecting Qatar to the island nation of Bahrain, $24 billion for a high-speed rail network, and 55,000 hotel rooms to accommodate visiting fans. In addition, Qatar has almost completed a new airport.
When asked for a response, the Qatari Labor Ministry said it had strict rules governing working conditions and the prompt payment of salaries.

"The ministry enforces this law through periodic inspections to ensure that workers have in fact received their wages in time,” the ministry said in a statement. “If a company does not comply with the law, the ministry applies penalties and refers the case to the judicial authorities."

The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, the body tasked with organizing the World Cup, said it was "deeply concerned with the allegations that have been made against certain contractors/sub-contractors working on Lusail City's construction site and considers this issue to be of the utmost seriousness."

"We have been informed that the relevant government authorities are conducting an investigation into the allegations," it added.

Lusail Real Estate Company said: "Lusail City will not tolerate breaches of labor or health and safety law. We continually instruct our contractors and their subcontractors of our expectations and their contractual obligations to both us and individual employees. The Guardian have highlighted potentially illegal activities employed by one subcontractor. We take these allegations very seriously and have referred the allegations to the appropriate authorities for investigation. Based on this investigation, we will take appropriate action against any individual or company who has found to have broken the law or contract with us."

Lee Hampton (15)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 1:33 pm

As if this isn't bad enough, hundreds of thousands of migrant domestic workers are abused and killed in the oil-rich Gulf states.

The world must do something about it, but that will be very difficult, because the largest voting bloc in the U.N. is the 56-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). They have their way in very frightening ways.


Bridget Robertson (106)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 5:42 pm
Noted. Already filled my comments when this story first broke. Shared it on FB and twitter at the time. Guess what? Nobody but my husband even responded. Apathy is our enemy.

Beth S (330)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 5:57 pm
That's very true that apathy is our enemy. Some very famous people have said the opposite of hate is not love, but apathy. I agree with that to a great extent, but some part of me still thinks hate can also be an opposite.

The disturbing thing is that this situation is nothing new. The deaths of foreign workers in the Oil-Rich states became so great that countries like the Philippines refused to send any domestic workers.

If this type of thing happened in other countries, especially non-Muslim ones, the headlines would be splattered, but these guys, who keep our gas tanks filled, things are pushed under the rug, so that our oil supply won't be threatened.

Tremendous evil is happening there, and you won't read about it in the mainstream press. People need to know who and what we're dealing with, and be thankful, for the time being, anyway, that we aren't in such dire straights to need to go to the Arab Oil States and be put in literally life threatening, slavery conditions.

Thanks for commenting.

Friday October 25, 2013, 12:38 am
From the very beginning of Islamic expansion slavery was an integral part of the the Muslim economy. It has been very successful and the Western leaders seems happy to cooperate with that status quo.

Stan B (123)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:48 am
Exactly the same thing happened in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Frances D (92)
Friday October 25, 2013, 5:05 am

. (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 6:25 am
Very sad situation. Thanks for sharing, Beth.

Past Member (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 11:10 am
other nations should forbid their nationals going there or give them a good talking to about the conditions they will work under if they do then

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Friday October 25, 2013, 3:06 pm
Re-posted in the Care2 group, "Bloody Olympics" -
which covers World Cup Soccer in Qatar in 2022, as well as the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
It is an Open Group and anyone is invited to join.

. (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 3:11 pm
Noted & posted

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Friday October 25, 2013, 3:14 pm
Carol: "other nations should forbid their nationals going there or give them a good talking to about the conditions they will work under if they do then"

Sorry, but people in the poor nations such as Nepal, that supply the workers, UNDOUBTEDLY GET KICKBACKS for supplying the workers - and that would be PEOPLE IN THE GOVERNMENT OR WITH POWERFUL GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS.
Those govts know PERFECTLY WELL what is going on, and have ALWAYS KNOWN from the very beginning!
They KNOW the workers are being ruthlessly exploited - but THEY ARE MAKING A PILE OFF OF IT, so who cares? Let them die! We've got a surplus of workers, we can keep sending 'em forever - That's their mentality!

"The Rich are different from you and me....." That's how they GOT rich in the first place...
Don't kid yourselves that ANYTHING would make them care two hoots about their citizens' welfare....!

Sheila D (194)
Friday October 25, 2013, 7:11 pm
Just proves the value of life there.

Helen Porter (39)
Friday October 25, 2013, 11:48 pm
According to my research and observation, reducing the population is a major project of the rich and mighty.

Rose Becke (141)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 12:46 am
Sharing this Beth Thank you

alicia m (97)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 12:54 am
NOTED, gracias beth and rose

Yvonne F (181)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 3:05 am
Beyond words!!! This happened in China as well. Organizations as FIFA need to step up and take responsibility!!!! Totally unacceptable!
Thanks Beth for posting and Rose for forwarding

Angelika R (143)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 7:20 am
Not een FIFA would change anything as they,too are all about money. It's a crying shame and totally perverting the spirit of sports. The international community needs to step up and protest-over and again.

Liliana G (203)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 10:37 pm
Just one word: Infamy. We need a second deluge.

Ellen J (62)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 3:40 am
Noted & shared. Thanks for this.

John B (185)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 3:58 am
Thanks BMutiny for the heads up! Thank you Beth for posting the link to the video and for the informative post. Read, viewed and noted.

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 4:12 am
So very true BMutiny T. The rich don't care about the fate of people exploited and dying. This is a terrible thing being perpetrated here.

Aurea Aurea Walker (226)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 6:09 am
Truly sad what desperate motives drives the worlds poor to have too work under sub-human conditions. And because the countries these poor people are forced to leave their own country for work. It is truly despicable at all levels!

Dotti L (85)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 8:40 am
Thank you Barbara for forwarding this to me. And thanks to Beth.

Hilary S (65)
Sunday October 27, 2013, 8:05 pm
FIFA needs to be very ashamed for colluding in this appalling abuse of human brings

Sue Clayton (8)
Monday October 28, 2013, 12:59 am
If a company is unable to pay it's workers the correct wages, then they shouldn't submit a quote for the job.

Janis K (129)
Monday October 28, 2013, 4:00 am
The poor and working class are underpaid, used and abused all over the world. Whatever happened to the pride in providing a livable wage to workers. The poor are just another commodity to provide the wealthy with the lifestyle they think they deserve.

Beth S (330)
Monday October 28, 2013, 8:22 am
Yes, Janis, you are right, that often the wealthy are not emotionally or psychologically connected to the poor in many of the places of the world, and this often leads to abuse. It is a terrible thing, and the rights of the poor should be spoken up for and championed in the U.N. when this is a matter of abuse of foreign workers.

Unfortunately, in the case of Islam, there is a whole other dimension to this that surpasses the abuse meted out in other situations, and provides a justification for it that is unlike others of which I am aware.

For instance, it is the norm that domestic workers in the Arab Oil countries have their passports, any I.D., and anything they need should they change their minds about working there, confiscated. They are routinely not paid, frequently sexually abused by the head of the household, because Islam allows for four wives and an unlimited number of sex slaves.

The are not allowed to be in touch with their families. They are forced to convert to Islam. If they should try to escape, they will be brought back by other Saudis, Qataris, whatever the case may be, to their place of "employment", which as you can see is de facto enslavement.

Whether they try to escape or not, they are routinely subject to physical abuse -- burns, beatings, rape, lashes with electric cords, acid thrown in faces.

Three or so years ago I an article that said that the bodies of domestic workers from the rich Arab oil states were routinely dumped at airports in body bags.

The situation became so dire that the governments of several countries, including the Philippines and Indonesia forbade their citizens to go to work for Arab Oil States.

In addition, there is a mandated and quite alarming attitude towards non-Muslims in the very core texts of Islam's "holy" books against non-Muslims, meaning the Qur'an and Hadiths. This is an intense hostility and hatred of non-Muslims. If it was just a prejudice, that would be one thing, but this is a hate and prejudice so deep against non-Muslims that is actually said in the core texts how to make this hatred ACTIONABLE. It is this that people should be aware.

Beth S (330)
Monday October 28, 2013, 8:42 am
Here are "some" of the many verses in the Qur'an to which I am alluding. One verse I'd like to draw attention to is the verse that is one of several that posits Muslims' and Arabs' supremacy to non-Muslims and non-Arabs. This mindset is still very much prevalent today.

Interestingly, though, there is a cognitive dissonance, because most of the Muslim world is far behind the West, and are clearly not "the best of peoples" by multiple indicators. However, the goal of the Umma, or the totality of the Muslims in the world is to bring the entire globe under Sharia, in the form of a global Caliphate, as has been said numerous times by Islamic clerics and Islamists of all stripes.

Okay here we go:

2:191-193 Fight and kill unbelievers until “religion is Allah’s,” i.e. Islamic law rules all societies

“And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them -- such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no enmity save for evildoers.”

3:28 Don’t take unbelievers as friends and allies, unless it is for “fear of them,” i.e. deceptively for protection of oneself or of Islam

“Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends, rather than the believers -- for whoso does that belongs not to Allah in anything -- unless you have a fear of them. Allah warns you that You beware of Him, and unto Allah is the homecoming.”

3:110-112 Muslims are the best of people, Jews have earned Allah’s anger

“You are the best nation ever brought forth to men, bidding to honour, and forbidding dishonour, and believing in Allah. Had the People of the Book believed, it were better for them; some of them are believers, but the most of them are ungodly. They will not harm you, except a little hurt; and if they fight with you, they will turn on you their backs; then they will not be helped. Abasement shall be pitched on them, wherever they are come upon, except they be in a bond of Allah, and a bond of the people; they will be laden with the burden of Allah’s anger, and poverty shall be pitched on them; that, because they disbelieved in Allah’s signs, and slew the Prophets without right; that, for that they acted rebelliously and were transgressors.”

3:151 Terror

“We will cast into the hearts of the unbelievers terror, for that they have associated with Allah that for which He sent down never authority; their lodging shall be the Fire; evil is the lodging of the evildoers.”

4:3 Polygamy and sexual slavery

“If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial.”

4:34 Beat disobedient women

“Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that Allah has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for Allah’s guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; Allah is All-high, All-great.”

4:89 Kill apostates

“They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

5:17 Christians -- believers in divinity of Christ – are unbelievers

“They are unbelievers who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, Mary’s son.’ Say: ‘Who then shall overrule Allah in any way if He desires to destroy the Messiah, Mary’s son, and his mother, and all those who are on earth?’ For to Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them, creating what He will. Allah is powerful over everything.”

5:33 Crucify or amputate the hands and feet of those who make war against Allah and Muhammad

"This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement."

5:38 Amputate the hands of thieves

"And the thief, male and female: cut off the hands of both, as a recompense for what they have earned, and a punishment exemplary from Allah; Allah is All-mighty, All-wise."

5:51 Don’t take Jews and Christians as friends and allies

“O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. Allah guides not the people of the evildoers.”

5:59-60 Jews cursed, made into apes and swine

“Say: ‘People of the Book, do you blame us for any other cause than that we believe in Allah, and what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down before, and that most of you are ungodly?’ Say: ‘Shall I tell you of a recompense with Allah, worse than that? Whomsoever Allah has cursed, and with whom He is wroth, and made some of them apes and swine, and worshippers of idols -- they are worse situated, and have gone further astray from the right way.’”

5:72 Christians are unbelievers

“They are unbelievers who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, Mary’s son.’ For the Messiah said, ‘Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord. Verily whoso associates with Allah anything, Allah shall prohibit him entrance to Paradise, and his refuge shall be the Fire; and wrongdoers shall have no helpers.’”

8:12 Allah will terrorize unbelievers; Muslims should behead them

“When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, ‘I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast into the unbelievers’ hearts terror; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!’”

8:39 Fight unbelievers until Islam reigns supreme

“Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s entirely; then if they give over, surely Allah sees the things they do.”

8:60 Make war against enemies of Allah

“Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”

9:5 Slay the idolaters

“Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”

9:28 Idolaters unclean

“O believers, the idolaters are indeed unclean; so let them not come near the Holy Mosque after this year of theirs. If you fear poverty, Allah shall surely enrich you of His bounty, if He will; Allah is All-knowing; All-wise.”
9:29 Fight and subjugate the Jews and Christians

“Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden -- such men as practise not the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book -- until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.”

9:30 Jews and Christians assailed by Allah

“The Jews say, ‘Ezra is the Son of Allah’; the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the Son of Allah.’ That is the utterance of their mouths, conforming with the unbelievers before them. Allah assail them! How they are perverted!”

9:31 Jews and Christians have taken their clergy and holy men as lords

“They have taken their rabbis and their monks as lords apart from Allah, and the Messiah, Mary’s son -- and they were commanded to serve but One Allah; there is no god but He; glory be to Him, above that they associate.”

9:73 Be harsh with unbelievers

“O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them; their refuge is Gehenna -- an evil homecoming!”

9:111 Paradise guaranteed to those who kill and are killed for Allah

“Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”

9:123 Fight the unbelievers, be harsh with them

“O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.”

47:4 Behead and slaughter the unbelievers; take others captive

“When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.”

48:29 Be merciful to believers, not unbelievers

"Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers, merciful one to another."

98:6 Unbelievers are the worst of creatures

“The unbelievers of the People of the Book and the idolaters shall be in the Fire of Gehenna, therein dwelling forever; those are the worst of creatures.”


Past Member (0)
Tuesday October 29, 2013, 2:43 am
Just horible...slavery...
Thank you Beth for bring it up.

Sherri G (128)
Wednesday October 30, 2013, 1:39 am
America is trying to make all of us slaves and we sweep it under the rug. Qatar is one of many countries. TY for posting. Noted

jeanne schreurs (205)
Wednesday October 30, 2013, 6:24 am
Why not stop all Olympics and World cups and give the money to those who need it.
It isn't the sport anymore but only money.

kate K (481)
Wednesday October 30, 2013, 6:45 am
Noted thank you

Past Member (0)
Wednesday October 30, 2013, 7:26 am
out of words

Laetitia schartner (171)
Wednesday October 30, 2013, 2:50 pm
noted, TY

Past Member (0)
Wednesday October 30, 2013, 6:27 pm
Thank you Beth and Dimitris.

I agree with Jeanne!

Neill Abayon (667)
Sunday November 3, 2013, 11:15 am
Noted. Thanks.
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