Human right exploited in Qatar:Ugly side of Qatar World Cup 2022
Qatar – What appears rosy isn’t always so! The preparations of Qatar World Cup 2022 has been going on since last ten years, to make it spectacular thousands of migrant workers and local labors were appointed. However, migrants from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal were forced to work on the refurbishment of the showcase Khalifa Stadium and landscaping the surrounding gardens and sporting facilities known as the “Aspire Zone” in dry heat.
These workers are pressurized, blackmailed and tortured to work in inadmissible conditions. They can’t change jobs, they can’t leave the country and they often wait months to get paid. Meanwhile, FIFA, its sponsors and the construction companies involved are set to make massive financial gains from the tournament.
It is horrifying to note that more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago. It is even sad to know that the actual death toll is significantly higher, as these figures do not include deaths Philippines and Kenya and also this data does not include the death count of people who died in 2020 and post that.
During the investigation or autopsy, it is said to the family members overseas that they were caused by workplace accidents, some are caused by road traffic accidents, some are suicides, but the vast majority are categorized as so-called natural deaths, which essentially means deaths that are sudden and unexplained.
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A human right activist mentioned that until Qatar dismantles the kafala system in its entirety and allows migrant workers to join trade unions and advocate for their own rights, workers are likely to continue to suffer abuses and exploitation. There will be no end to their suffering.
These workers have repeatedly complained that on their first day of job itself their passports were taken from them so that they cannot leave the country and submit themselves to work under the current employer only. A worker told that their employer bluntly said that he does not care about him and added that ‘we are giving you this salary and nothing more. If you keep talking like this I’ll tell them to cancel your visa and send you back’.
Following the footsteps of Qatar in using kafala system for its migrant workforce, even UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait also have significantly large migrant worker populations and impose various forms of this system.
Inspite of knowing of all the wrong doings, FIFA has been incredibly hands off in all of this. They have taken no meaningful action to demand changes. They have rarely spoken out strongly in favor of changes and have chose to be very passive on this whole issue.