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6,500 Workers Have Died In Qatar Building Infrastructure For The 2022 World Cup
6,500 Workers Have Died In Qatar Building Infrastructure For The 2022 World Cup by Starboy(m): Sat 20, November, 2021
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A report conducted by The Guardian has found that thousands of migrant laborers have died in Qatar over the past decade. Since the country was unexpectedly awarded the hosting rights for the FIFA World Cup in December 2010, at least 6,500 migrants from five countries in southern Asia have died. The Guardian's analysis recorded deaths among workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with 12 people losing their lives in Qatar each week on average since 2010. The true death toll is likely to be significantly higher given that the research does not include deaths from other countries known to send significant quantities of workers to Qatar such as the Philippines and Kenya.

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Like other gulf states such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Qatar is highly reliant on expatriate workers who tend to voluntarily come from Asia and parts of Africa. In early 2017, the country's population was 2.6 million of which 313,000 were Qatari citizens and 2.3 million were expatriates. Qatar has been plagued by allegations of human rights abuses and labor violations for years with international organizations consistently reporting that migrant laborers have been subject to serious exploitation and abuse. The U.S. State Department has said that expatriate workers face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude with some labor violations taking the form of beatings, withholding of payment, sexual assault and restrictions on freedom of movement.

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In order to prepare for the world's premier soccer tournament, Qatar has embarked on a host of major construction projects including seven stadiums, an airport and major additions to public transport, among others. While The Guardian reported that 37 deaths were directly linked to work carried out on stadiums, tracing fatalities has proven difficult as they are not categorized by occupation or place of work. It is highly likely that a significant portion of the thousands of deaths listed since 2011 occurred on infrastructure projects for the World Cup. Blunt trauma and asphyxia are among the many causes of death noted in official records but "natural deaths" often attributed to heart or respiratory failure are the most common. There is usually no legitimate medical explanation for these deaths but they may be linked to Qatar's intense heat.

The Guardian's findings were compiled from government sources and they show that 2,711 workers from India died between 2011 and 2020, along with 1,641 expatriates from Nepal and 1,018 from Bangladesh. Pakistan's embassy in Qatar also reported 824 deaths among Pakistani workers over the last decade. Even though Qatar's government does not dispute the figures, it states that the number of deaths is proportional to the size of the migrant workforce. The rate of Covid-19 is also low in Qatar and it is thought that the pandemic has not had a considerable impact on the number of deaths with around 250 people dying from the disease.

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