Human Lives Human Rights: According to a recent report by the British newspaper The Guardian, more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup.
The labor rights group FairSquare said it was likely that many of those who died had been working on World Cup infrastructure projects.
Qatar has always been accused of abusing the foreign workers and paying them least and drawing more work from them. Although no exact details of the deaths of these workers have been released yet, it is necessary to evaluate a few points:
Firstly, the death toll of these foreign workers is probably much higher than what is announced because of Qatar’s influence on today’s media world and having an important media broadcaster, such as Al Jazeera, which has a long history of magnifying or downplaying various events when it comes to Qatar, that is why, it is possible that Doha may have covered up the actual number of workers who died by hiding it.
Also, considering the fact that a few years ago, when FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter revealed the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals were Russia and Qatar, it was said that it is a story of corruption and criminality brazen, to the extent that, it was rumored that the right to host these two events would be taken away from Russia and Qatar.
Qatar is building seven stadiums for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which is due to start on 21 November. But the state has attracted criticism for its treatment of the 30,000 migrant laborers working on the projects.
Amnesty International accused Qatar of using forced labor. It said many workers were living in squalid accommodation, paying huge recruitment fees and had had wages withheld and passports confiscated.
Also, a 2021 Human Rights Watch report said that foreign workers were suffering from “punitive and illegal wage deductions”, as well as “months of unpaid wages for long hours of grueling work”.
Therefore, it is very likely that Qatar created very harsh conditions for the foreign workers by putting pressure on them to prepare the sports venues as soon as possible, leading them to death.
It is worth mentioning that Qatar has very hot and exhausting summers. FIFA, therefore, contrary to its usual routine, to hold the World Cup in June and July, this time, it has set the date for the 2022 World Cup to be held in November.
Therefore, there is a serious speculation that in recent years, due to the changing climatic conditions and previlation of very hot summers in the Middle East, Qatar in order to prepare its hosting conditions as soon as possible in this season of the year, made its workers work extremely hard, beyond their capability.
It can be said that the possible action of the Qatari government in the over-exploitation of these workers, which has occurred in oppressive conditions, includes a violation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers.
These provisions include the right to life, the right to prevent the punitive treatment or torture, no arbitrary detention, equal treatment like the native citizens of the host country, access to labor rights like health services, employment, social services, cultural life, unemployment insurance and so on.
Therefore, it can be boldly claimed that Qatar’s possible actions to extract excessive work from the migrants who died, is a clear violation of all these provisions.