The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has published a report recently, which starts with the words: ” Qatar is a country without a conscience.” This report is getting some high profile coverage from both social and electronic media.
This report focuses on the working and living conditions of 1.4 million workers living in Qatar for the construction of stadiums for 2022 FIFA world cup. According to the report by the International Trade Union Confederation, an estimated four thousand workers will die before the 2022 world cup. These workers belong to the third world countries.
The report says ” 191 Nepalese workers died in 2013 working in Qatar compared with 169 in 2012 based on Nepal Government figures. 400 Nepalese workers have died since 2010 when Qatar won the right to host the World Cup. 218 Indian nationals died in 2013 working in Qatar according to figures from the Indian Embassy in Qatar. 237 workers died in 2012 and 239 in 2011. On average, about 20 Indian migrants died per month in 2013, peaking at 27 in the hottest month, August.” In response, The head of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee said this week that the death rates among foreign workers are normal.
The ITUC infers that the basic cause of these deaths is the horrible working conditions and hostile working environment. The report is strengthened by the inputs from the migrant workers, who have experienced those dreadful conditions. These further prove that the report is not merely based on statistics, but that there are certain facts leading to these numbers. The graph given below also gives you a fair idea about the horrendous working conditions in Qatar for migrant workers.
For example, a construction manager said, ” I went on the site this morning at 5:00 a.m. and there was blood everywhere. I don’t know what happened, but it was covered up with no report. When I reported this, I was told that if I didn’t stop complaining, I would be dismissed”. Then, the report shares the cleaner’s experience, who said, “Our contract expired, yet the employer has not paid our salaries between one to three months, nor has he provided end of contract benefits or tickets home. Each time we come to the office, it is always, “Come back in a couple of days and you will have your pay and tickets.” “We have worked hard and just want what is due to us and to go home. We are stuck now in cramped accommodations, with poor food and no clean drinking water. We are treated like animals,” he further added.
The Qatar Foundation Management Standards (QFMS) and the Supreme Committee For Workers’ Welfare Standards (SCWWS) are the organizations formed by the government to make sure that the migrant workers are treated properly. Both of these organizations were not able to make sure the welfare of the workers. They were unable to scrutinize the contractors’ plans for the betterment of workers.