Over 400 Nepalese workers die in Qatar’s building sites since World Cup bid

Both football governing body FIFA and Qatar face a PR crisis over allegations of human rights violations

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More than 400 Nepalese workers in Qatar have died on Gulf state’s building sites as the country prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, British newspaper The Guardian reported on Saturday.

The statistic will be published in a report released later this week by human rights group the Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee, using official Doha-based figures.


Nepalese laborers make up 20 percent of Qatar’s workforce, while others come from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, according to the daily.

Both football governing body FIFA and Qatar face a PR crisis over allegations of human rights violations in the small Gulf state.

Last week, FIFA executive Theo Zwanziger said that the body would be carrying out “on-the-spot visits” to check on the treatment of laborers.

No need to die

“People don’t have to die to bring us this or any other World Cup or sporting event; not a single worker died building the sites for the London 2012 Olympics. According to the International TUC, the 2022 World Cup risks 4,000 lives,” said the British opposition Labour party’s shadow international development minister, writing in the Guardian.

Responding to concerns about the treatment of its workers, Qatar’s World Cup authorities recently released a 50-page report which sets out in detail the guidles they expect World Cup stadium contractors to observe.

This week, as British king-in-waiting Prince Charles travels to Qatar - along with Saudi Arabia - on a brief Middle East tour, the heir’s visit will further cast the spotlight on the nation.

“The Prince should suggest to the Emir that, while a good start, the new measures fall well short of the reforms that Qatar’s low-paid and routinely exploited migrant workers need so badly,” Eleanor Blatchley, an advocacy and communications coordinator at Human Rights Watch, wrote in an article published in the UK-based International Business Times.

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