Manama, Feb 18: More than 450 Indian migrant workers have reportedly died in the last two years in Qatar, putting the Gulf State under more pressure over its rights record ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
In response to a Right To Information (RTI) request filed, the Indian embassy in Qatar gave figures detailing the number of deaths in 2012 and the first 11 months of 2013.
According to Gulf news, the figures revealed that an average of 20 migrants died per month, peaking at 27 in August last year, adding that there were 237 fatalities in 2012 and another 218 in 2013 up to December 5.
The embassy in Qatar says that the exact number of Indians in Qatar is unknown, but it was estimated at close to 500,000 at the end of 2012, about 26 per cent of Qatar’s total population
The report mentioned that Qatar’s human rights record is under scrutiny like never before as it cranks up building work ahead of the 2022 World Cup, most of which will be done by migrant labour from South Asia.
Amnesty International had said that workers were being treated like ‘animals’, and urged football’s world governing body FIFA to press Qatar to improve conditions for foreign labourers.
A reputed British newspaper revealed that 400 Nepalese migrants had died on building sites in Qatar and said human rights organisation Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee would give more details this week.
On February 11, the Gulf state issued new guidelines aimed at protecting expatriate workers, suggesting they should be paid properly and promptly and housed adequately, the report added. (ANI)