Over 6500 South Asian migrant workers died in Qatar in 10 years

More than 6500 migrant workers from South Asian countries have died in Qatar in the last ten years, mainly after it started mega construction projects in 2010 to prepare itself to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Feb 27, 2021
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More than 6500 migrant workers from South Asian countries have died in Qatar in the last ten years, mainly after it started mega construction projects in 2010 to prepare itself to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Guardian compiled the data from official sources from embassies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in Qatar. The findings were shocking: an estimated around 12 migrant workers died every week since December 2010.

“The findings expose Qatar’s failure to protect its 2 million-strong migrant workforce, or even investigate the causes of the apparently high rate of death among the largely young workers,” the report noted.

Indians reported the highest death count of 2711 workers, Pakistan 824, Nepal 1641, Bangladesh 1018, and around 557 Sri Lankan workers died between December 2010 to November 2020.

About 69 percent of deaths among Indians, Nepali, and Bangladeshi workers were described as natural deaths.

The Guardian report also says the real numbers could be even higher as the workers from the Philippines and Kenya, which also contribute migrants in large numbers, were not included in the report.

Surprisingly, the Qatari authorities declared most deaths, around 70 percent, due to natural reasons, meaning unrelated work-related stress and environment. The report, however, doubted it. It noted Qatari authorities often attribute the reason behind these deaths without conducting a proper autopsy.

“We have called on Qatar to amend its law on autopsies to require forensic investigations into all sudden or unexplained deaths, and pass legislation to require that all death certificates include a reference to a medically meaningful cause of death,” Hiba Zayadin, a Gulf researcher for Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying by The Guardian

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