Secretary General John Peder Egenæs of Amnesty International Norway is very critical of the working conditions of guest workers in Qatar.
– We have long known that there have been a high number of deaths among “guest workers” in Qatar. The figures seem very high given that this is largely about relatively young men, who have often undergone a medical examination before they were hired, he says.
Builds WC facilities
Today, the British newspaper The Guardian presents an analysis of working conditions in the host country Qatar.
It shows that an average of 12 guest workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka die every week. The newspaper has obtained the information from the authorities in these countries.
The total death toll is probably far higher than 6,500 as they do not include a significant number of guest workers from countries such as the Philippines and Kenya, writes The Guardian. The last months of last year are not included in the statistics either.
Qatar has garnered massive international criticism for what Amnesty International and others have described as slave-like conditions for the workers who build the many facilities for the World Cup.
– The scandal is exacerbated by the fact that Qatari authorities in three quarters of the cases state ‘natural causes’ as the cause of death, without conducting any proper investigation, John Peder Egenæs believes.
– Both of these conditions make one suspect that it is working and perhaps living conditions that are the reason for many of the deaths, he emphasizes to NRK.
Norway begins its World Cup qualification in men’s football against Turkey on March 27, the match will be played in Malaga in Spain.
Qatar: Hundreds of guest workers die while sleeping – the cause is not investigated
In addition to seven new football stadiums, a completely new city, a new airport, new hotels, new road facilities and new facilities for public transport have also been built ahead of the World Cup. The work has been done by guest workers, mainly from Asia and Africa.
Although the statistics do not show where the dead worked, it is mainly about guest workers who have worked on the large construction projects, says Nick McGeehan.
He is employed by FairSquare Projects, an organization that works with workers’ rights in the countries of the Persian Gulf.
“A significant proportion of migrant workers who have lost their lives since 2011 were in the country solely because Qatar was awarded the World Cup,” he told The Guardian.
New documentary: World Cup workers locked up while the coronavirus is ravaging
There are about 2 million guest workers in Qatar, who recently introduced a minimum wage of 1,000 riyals (about 2,500 Norwegian kroner) a month.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the workers ‘organization ITUC have previously sharply criticized the conditions for guest workers who build World Cup facilities, and Amnesty International has repeatedly labeled workers’ living and working conditions as unsustainable.
– Despite the fact that Qatar has made promises of reforms, this is still a playground for unscrupulous employers, the human rights organization stated in the report “All Work, No Pay” in September 2019.
Requirements from Amnesty
Secretary General John Peder Egenæs of Amnesty International Norway, demands that the authorities in Qatar now investigate the deaths thoroughly.
– If the deaths, which we suspect are due to working or living conditions, the authorities must address this to prevent this from happening on this scale, he says.
– As we have demanded this for a long time, without the authorities having done anything, we believe that the International Football Association FIFA is the organization that can force a different attitude to these tragic deaths, he adds.