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More Than 900 Workers Have Already Died Building Qatar's World Cup Infrastructure


Business  (tags: Nepalese, Qatar, Muslims, Islam, slaves, FIFA, murder, deaths, business, oil, Middle East, tragic, abuse )

Gillian
- 1636 days ago - smithsonianmag.com
The International Trade Union Confederation says that if conditions don't improve, at least 4,000 migrants will die before kick-off. In 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup. The host city has already made some waves with its stadium shaped like a certa



   

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Gillian M (218)
Tuesday April 1, 2014, 4:58 am
The International Trade Union Confederation says that if conditions don’t improve, at least 4,000 migrants will die before kick-off

I
n 2022, Qatar will host the World Cup. The host city has already made some waves with its stadium shaped like a certain body part. But what you might not know is that, since 2012, about 900 workers have died while working on infrastructure in Qatar, in a building boom anticipating the World Cup.*

Last month, the Guardian reported that over 400 Nepalese migrant workers had already died at building sites. Between 2010 and 2012 more than 700 workers from India lost their lives working on construction sites in Qatar, too. A report by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) says that if conditions don’t get any better, by the time the World Cup kicks off, at least 4,000 migrant workers will have died on the job.

For comparison, 25 construction workers died during the preparations for Sochi. Only six workers have died during construction for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil that starts this summer. Only eleven men died during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s. By all measures, the death count in Qatar is extreme.

Robert Booth at the Guardian explains why Qatar is so unusual:



Workers described forced labour in 50C (122F) heat, employers who retain salaries for several months and passports making it impossible for them to leave and being denied free drinking water. The investigation found sickness is endemic among workers living in overcrowded and insanitary conditions and hunger has been reported. Thirty Nepalese construction workers took refuge in the their country's embassy and subsequently left the country, after they claimed they received no pay.

According to the ITUC, there are already 1.2 million migrant workers in Qatar, and about a million more will probably pour into the country to help with construction. These are essentially slaves, Sharan Burrow from the ITUC told Booth. “Fifa needs to send a very strong and clear message to Qatar that it will not allow the World Cup to be delivered on the back of a system of modern slavery that is the reality for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers there today," she said.

When presented with the results of the Guardian investigation, a spokesman from Qatar told Booth: “The health, safety, wellbeing and dignity of every worker that contributes to staging the 2022 Fifa World Cup is of the utmost importance to our committee and we are committed to ensuring that the event serves as a catalyst toward creating sustainable improvements to the lives of all workers in Qatar.”

Even 900 deaths during construction, and Qatar is years away from finishing their work. Chances are more people will die, and, if the ITUC is right, it could be thousands.

*We've updated this sentence and the headline to reflect more clearly a change made to one of the Guardian stories cited in the post.






 

(0)
Tuesday April 1, 2014, 5:33 am
Meanwhile organisations like UNHRC spend tax payers money and shift the focus towards guess where? That country's name starts with an "I" and it is not Italy but fairly close geographically!
 

Beth S (330)
Tuesday April 1, 2014, 7:25 am

You can tell how much Islamic countries like Qatar value the well-being and lives of its workers, little to none.

 

Patricia Martinez (63)
Tuesday April 1, 2014, 7:50 am


This is an outrageous expose on the fact that Islam doesn't care about the life of anyone except its own. In fact, the more non-Muslims that die, the better.


 

Ben O (140)
Tuesday April 1, 2014, 9:43 am
"Fifa needs to send a very strong and clear message to Qatar that it will not allow the World Cup to be delivered on the back of a system of modern slavery that is the reality for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in Qatar today..."
Right, if FIFA wasn't a bunch of corrupted assholes that is!
 

Casandra Barrera (15)
Tuesday April 1, 2014, 7:27 pm
lets sing
 

Lona G (67)
Wednesday April 2, 2014, 5:21 am
From the moment FIFA announced that Qatar would host the Soccer World Cup in 2022 it was clear that this was all about money and that the FIFA was bought. It is beyond belief that they chose Qatar, which has no soccer tradition whatsoever and which is desert nation with summer temperatures soaring into the 50s (Centigrade) purely on merit. All responsible could have known that even an oil-rich state like Qatar couldn't afford building a soccer nation including its infrastructure in a dessert, which meant roofed and air-conditioned stadiums, without cutting corners and in this case cutting workers lives short.
The FIFA has been notified of the ever increasing number of deaths months ago, but doesn't react. And neither have any of the soccer clubs/countries who are going to play there. Too much money involved. I doubt very much if it will ever come to a boycott of the World Cup, unless the soccer fans decide not to go, but then they'll just watch it on TV, where money is also the only thing that counts.
 

Kerrie G (116)
Wednesday April 2, 2014, 5:51 am
Noted, thanks.
 

Gillian M (218)
Wednesday April 2, 2014, 10:29 am
Lona, along the lines of having the Olympics in Sochi where gays were harassed and beaten up (against their rules but, hey, they don't count!) or the current FIFA in the Ukraine where massive animal abuses were committed.
 

Lindsay K (6)
Wednesday April 2, 2014, 12:16 pm
This is an appalling and tragic statistic - FIFA surely have to do something to stop these deaths.
 

(0)
Thursday April 3, 2014, 11:11 am
No doubt our millions of cheering foreign football fans will appreciate the sacrifice made by these workers - like hell!
 

Helen Porter (39)
Thursday April 3, 2014, 10:43 pm
How must the workers feel as they witness their friends and relatives dying on this project. But their children must be fed. The workers keep on working until everything begins to darken into blackness and they can work no more. Nor can they breathe.
 

(0)
Monday April 7, 2014, 7:56 am
Lona Goudswaard - you are right. FIFA is billion dollar business that just happens to use soccer as a theme. The IOC is also very similair other than its promotional use of athletics.
 
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