London, Sep 26: An international trade body has said that along with Nepal, many migrant workers from India and Sri Lanka engaged for the preparations of the 2022 FIFA World Cup have also died and many more are facing squalid labour conditions and consular problems, which has been compared as akin to slaves.
According to the Guardian, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said that at least half a million extra workers from countries including Nepal, India and Sri Lanka are expected to flood in to Qatar to complete stadiums, hotels and infrastructure.
The Indian ambassador in Qatar said that along with Nepalese migrants, who make up 16 percent of Qatar’s 1.2 million migrant labour force, 82 Indian workers died in the first five months of this year and 1,460 complained to the embassy about labour conditions and consular problems.
The ITUC warned that death toll among migrant builders could reach 600 a year, or almost a dozen a week if the Qatari authorities fail to make urgent reforms to working conditions.
The report said that the ITUC has based the estimate on current mortality figures for Nepalese and Indian workers, who form a large part of Qatar’s migrant workforce, the majority of whom are builders.
Although the ITUC admits that the cause of death is not clear for many of the deceased, it believes harsh and dangerous conditions at work and cramped and squalid living quarters are to blame.
Meanwhile, the report mentioned that global football governing body FIFA has called an urgent discussion on the migrant labourers’ issue next week as it was ‘concerned’ about the ‘reports presented by the media’ regarding labour rights’ abuses and the conditions for construction workers. (ANI)