Qatar World Cup chief says between 400 and 500 migrant workers have died in projects connected to the tournament



CNN

World Cup chief Hassan Al-Sawasdi said between 400 and 500 migrant workers had died as a result of work done on projects related to the tournament.

In an interview with Piers Morgan aired on TalkTV on Monday, Al-Thawadi was asked about the death toll of migrant workers as a result of the work done at the tournament, saying: .

“I don’t know the exact number, but it’s been debated. One death is too many, as simple as that.”

Al-Thawadi added: “I think every year the health and safety standards at the sites are improving.

In November 2022, government officials told CNN that there were three work-related deaths and 37 non-work-related deaths at the World Cup stadium.

Those figures were repeated on Tuesday by a spokesperson for the Supreme Commission (SC) for Qatar’s Deliveries and Heritage. “Another citation for figures refers to national statistics of all work-related deaths (414) across Qatar from 2014 to 2020, covering all sectors and nationalities. ”

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Qatar World Cup Migrant Worker’s Dilemma

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– Source: CNN

Meanwhile, the Guardian reported last year that 6,500 migrant workers from South Asia have died in Qatar since the country won the World Cup in 2010.

This report does not link all 6,500 fatalities to World Cup infrastructure projects and has not been independently verified by CNN.

But last year, Al-Sawasdi, the head of Qatar’s preparations, disputed the figures, telling CNN’s Becky Anderson that the Guardian figures were misleading “sensational headlines” and that the report lacked context. said to be lacking

Meanwhile, a Qatari government official told CNN last month:

“This is not true and ignores all other causes of death such as illness, old age and traffic accidents. We also recognize that only 20% of Qatari foreign workers are employed at construction sites. I have not.”

According to Amnesty International, migrant workers make up 90% of Qatar’s total workforce.

Since Qatar won the World Cup in 2010, many migrant workers have lost their jobs due to delayed or unpaid wages, forced labour, long hours in hot weather, employer intimidation and state sponsorship schemes. I’ve been facing the problem of not being able to quit. found.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: England manager Gareth South before the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between England and Germany at Wembley stadium on 26th September 2022 in London, England Gates are watching.  (Photo by Sean Botterill/Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate: Qatari workers unite to make World Cup happen

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– Source: CNN

Morgan questioned whether health and safety standards were good enough at the start of the project, to which Al-Sawasdi replied:

“To be clear, this was something we were aware of before bidding. It is not because of the World Cup that we have seen improvements. It’s an improvement that I knew wouldn’t happen.”

“The World Cup has served as a catalyst, a catalyst, as we were in the spotlight early on,” he added.

“It has sparked many of these initiatives, not only in the improvement of the law, but also in its enforcement.

“And today we are in a position where the most ardent critics today see us as the benchmark for the region.”

Among the changes are sweeping changes to the Kafala system that allows businesses and private individuals to manage the employment and immigration status of migrant workers.

Ahead of the World Cup, which began earlier this month and ends on December 18, Qatar built seven new stadiums, built new hotels and expanded the country’s airports, rail network and highways.

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