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World Cup 2022: Investigation Reveals Deaths, Modern Slavery and Inhumane Conditions in Qatar

qatar World Cup 2022: Investigation Reveals Deaths, Modern Slavery and Inhumane Conditions in Qatar

An investigation into the conditions that workers are under to prepare Qatar for FIFA World Cup 2022 has revealed evidence of forced labor on a huge infrastructure project, as well as exploitation of workers and inhumane living quarters, according to a report, released today, by The Guardian newspaper.

The investigation reveals:

— Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project

— Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.

— Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.

— Some laborers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

— About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.

According to The Guardian newspaper,

“Dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.

“This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of laborers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organization, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.

According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents.”

“The evidence uncovered by the Guardian is clear proof of the use of systematic forced labour in Qatar,” said Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International, which was founded in 1839. “In fact, these working conditions and the astonishing number of deaths of vulnerable workers go beyond forced labour to the slavery of old where human beings were treated as objects. There is no longer a risk that the World Cup might be built on forced labour. It is already happening.”

For the full investigation into this breaking story, read The Guardian’s articles here, here and here.


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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