Guardian: Qatar's World Cup 'slaves'

Guardian: Qatar's World Cup 'slaves'

bilalr
By bilalr

Dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar's preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.

This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks.

The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.

According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents.

The investigation also reveals:

• Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.

• Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.

• Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.

• Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

• About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.

The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world's most popular sporting tournament.

"We'd like to leave, but the company won't let us," said one Nepalese migrant employed at Lusail City development, a $45bn (£28bn) city being built from scratch which will include the 90,000-seater stadium that will host the World Cup final.

"I'm angry about how this company is treating us, but we're helpless. I regret coming here, but what to do? We were compelled to come just to make a living, but we've had no luck."

The body tasked with organising the World Cup, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, told the Guardian that work had yet to begin on projects directly related to the World Cup.

However, it said it was "deeply concerned with the allegations that have been made against certain contractors/sub-contractors working on Lusail City's construction site and considers this issue to be of the utmost seriousness".

It added: "We have been informed that the relevant government authorities are conducting an investigation into the allegations."

Read more: Guardian

By Good old joe• 8 years 7 months ago.
Good old joe

Yeah... perhaps the whole story might not be correct but certainly all of it cannot be wrong

By landloverreview• 8 years 7 months ago.
landloverreview

Nepali official denies labor abuses in Qatar http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/30/us-qatar-labor-rights-idUSBRE98T13Z20130930

By sammohd• 8 years 7 months ago.
sammohd

giving comments can change the world?

By nokie01• 8 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
nokie01

Ive seen one of those camps. You cant sleep their properly. Imagine you are 6 in a room and 3 of them are loudly snoring and 2 of them talking on the phone. Thats why lack of proper rest should be consider.

By Good old joe• 8 years 7 months ago.
Good old joe

They're dying because of the terrible working conditions and extremely poor living conditions in the labor camps, many of which are simply disgusting and unfit for human habitation

The system puts the power completely in the hands of the employers. When the migrant workers arrive in Qatar, they become the property of the employer.

http://arabia.msn.com/news/world/2099090/workers-advocate-laborers-qatar-becom/

By khan222• 8 years 7 months ago.
khan222

what the fuss.. I am very sad about the situation of workers here . I am from Qatar and working here for 7 years .. we are here because our economy is lame.. and we are not in lose. have good money..

but on the other hand .. the low paid workers are exploited its truth.. but on the other hand they are supporting the n giving little bit better life to their dependent.. accidents happens every where.. we should be careful..

the exploited workers are mostly uneducated.. the crooks take benefit of it.. most of the company owners or responsible persons are crook ..

exit permit system is big problem ..

By rishad2013• 8 years 7 months ago.
rishad2013

You guys only talking about Nepali workers. I heard many news before regarding India, Bangladesh, Pakistani workers. Everyone suffering the same. :(

By Good old joe• 8 years 8 months ago.
Good old joe

Indian labourers working on construction sites in Qatar reveal abuse... Workers tell the Guardian they were forced to go without meals, worked 15-hour days and denied medical attention

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/27/indian-labourers-construction-site-qatar-abuse-revealed-guardian

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

So what you are saying is that they are responsible for their own demise.

By SPLITT• 8 years 8 months ago.
SPLITT

Laws and regulation only get in the way of maximising profits which is what is demanded by the amoral system we call capitalism. It's only when the community rises demanding protection and justice that the ruling class start to get nervous and put systems in place. Qataris have no such demands.

By .sun26872• 8 years 8 months ago.
.sun26872

The key issue is 'They not only approve of it, but use it as a economical strategy to make short term profits'.....I don't know if they have sense of shame, but most certainly in long run short sighted policies are going to lead to disaster.

By kkforever young• 8 years 8 months ago.
kkforever young

Everybody knows about what is happening here; silently approves it and nobody does anything about it. Shame on you.

By .sun26872• 8 years 8 months ago.
.sun26872

"Every business will try to do the bare minimum to maximise profits. If allowed, this will happen anywhere in the world. But there are laws and regulations to prevent it." - Well said Azamat

By .sun26872• 8 years 8 months ago.
.sun26872

When westerners will read these kind of stories, they will laugh at the Qatari ambition of becoming their equal by hosting 2022 world cup.

By azamat• 8 years 8 months ago.
azamat

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/trade-unions-call-allindia-strike-for-feb-20-21/article4408753.ece

By azamat• 8 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
azamat

I don't understand comments such as - it's their own country men who exploit them (recruitment agents, company management here in Qatar etc.)

Let's be clear on this - Exploitation and Capitalism go hand-in-glove. Every business will try to do the bare minimum to maximise profits. If allowed, this will happen anywhere in the world. But there are laws and regulations to prevent it. Laws which are enforced severely with drastic consequences for the company which might try to exploit the basic rights of a human being. Which is why you will not find this type of exploitation in the developed world, or even in the developing world where labour unions exist.

This is not happening in Qatar.

By Good old joe• 8 years 8 months ago.
Good old joe

They say walls have ears and eventually the news gets out.. I am surprised that Al Jazeera did not find it interesting or important to report on this serious issue

By landloverreview• 8 years 8 months ago.
landloverreview

Evidently, I am not sure how many journalists from Guardian spent their weekends in the industrial area, or they just listened to someone who is not labour and quoted their sayings.

By Good old joe• 8 years 8 months ago.
Good old joe

....The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world’s most popular sporting tournament,” The Guardian reported.

By landloverreview• 8 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
landloverreview

imagine for the same case,in their own country, it would have taken ages.

There are so many positive sides to think as well. You dont have to compare their living style with the developed countries. If you compare it with their own, they get paid well, their accommodation here is good. They working time also is good, personal security in working site is good, transportation is good. Yes of course accidents & negligence do happen everywhere.

I met a labour, asked him his honest feedback..he was working for Reliance back home. Reliance is a very good company with huge revenue and profit scale, like A grade here. He said me what I typed earlier.

By landloverreview• 8 years 8 months ago.
landloverreview

Yes Brit, if it is just a single case, it is easy to bring the owner to justice, but this is not the only one..

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
britexpat

"Labours were Indian, Employer was Indian, Went home did not come back. Head office closed, they don't even pick up their phones."

Sad state of affairs. The thing is that Qatar has the muscle to bring the owners to justice if it wanted to ..

By landloverreview• 8 years 8 months ago.
landloverreview

Some kind Organization together with Indian Embassy sorted this out and sent all of them back home.

Some kind Organization together with Indian Embassy sorted this out and sent all of them back home.

There are so many situations like this, where labours were exploited, threaten by their own country people.

Qatar is doing its best to deal with these labours but their own country people make it difficult. Once you give them a job, it is like they owned their life.

By landloverreview• 8 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
landloverreview

complaint that they were not paid for eight months. It was just a social visit to know whether they have food to eat. It was so tragic.

No Pay for at least 6 months

ID expired a year ago hence No health insurance.

Food was supplied by the employer, a small pack, sometimes once , sometimes twice. You have run to get food as someone else will take two packs

During good olden days when they were getting their salary some were paid just 850 QR , though in their contract the actual basic salary was 1100 QR.

Labours were Indian, Employer was Indian, Went home did not come back. Head office closed, they don't even pick up their phones.

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
britexpat

People have very short term memories.. Labourers in Dubai endure similar conditions. We know about it, but choose to turn a blind eye because it does not directly affect us..

As far as the WC is concerned - most will forget about it after the tournament is over.. We remember matches not stadia. For example I remember vividly the 1970 WC Final between Brazil and Italy.. I recall the names such as Pele, Gerzinho, Rivelino, and Tostao. But nothing else about the place..

By TripoliAli• 8 years 8 months ago.
TripoliAli

The sad fact is that this article has highlighted a issue that cannot be denied

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam

The simple fact is that Qatar has the power to put these things right.

Many of these "contracting companies" and manpower suppliers are making vast profits from the misery faced by these workers..

By ChaTo• 8 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
ChaTo

It is easy to forget that Qatar is a developing country. Rich, but developing. This has consequences, and one of them is that enforcement of laws is not yet at the level it should be.

The official response from the labour ministry proves that many laws to protect workers exist in Qatar. The problem is that, as in other developing countries, some companies have been able to simply ignore the law.

By gautam365• 8 years 8 months ago.
gautam365

http://www.canadanepalshow.com/2013/09/news-qatar-migrant-workers-forced-to.html

By BOXBE16DOBARA• 8 years 8 months ago.
BOXBE16DOBARA

speechless

By tallg• 8 years 8 months ago.
tallg

Nope, not back in the desert, just interested in the reaction to the Guardian article.

Plus I enjoy the attention I get when I post on here :)

By Mandilulur• 8 years 8 months ago.
Mandilulur

tallg! Ahlan!

Mandi

By landloverreview• 8 years 8 months ago.
landloverreview

I second Paither.

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

A blast from the past ...

Hope you are well .. Are you back in the desert ?

By tallg• 8 years 8 months ago.
tallg

The authorities in Qatar would have been fully aware when they decided to bid for the World Cup that the "nastier" sides of Qatar would receive media coverage in the years running up to 2022, just as happened to China in the run up to the Beijing Olympics.

Articles like this wont be a surprise to them, and they'll be fully briefed on how to deal with it.

And hopefully, some positive changes will be implemented as a result.

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

All media has some sort of bias .. The Guardian is left wing and total opposite to Fox..

However, I do feel that they do a good job of highlighting the issues. It is up to us to take what the write at face value or do further research to satisfy ourselves as to the reality..

By Good old joe• 8 years 8 months ago.
Good old joe

... who would have thought in their wildest dreams that getting the games would have brought all this additional and related baggage from the other international organizations for checks and inquiries

By johninqatarliving• 8 years 8 months ago.
johninqatarliving

Appreciate VOICE against brutality in Palestine and Syria, but will really admire greatly if you SPEAK few WORDS for this Expatriate SLAVES

By jungle_book• 8 years 8 months ago.
jungle_book

If Qatar put few check points, everything will be sorted out.

Their (labours) meal are eaten by Owners & middle-ware pimps. Hate those !! Haramis...

By painther• 8 years 8 months ago.
painther

I have issue with #Paidmedia, They, Like Guardian in this case, behave as if they only own the gospel truth; We know how media works and how often they ‘work’ for favors , #NewsoftheWorldcandal

By painther• 8 years 8 months ago.
painther

It’s the trail of corruption, greed, starting from their hometowns, thug agents, corrupt embassy staff, lethargic monitoring system by management …….Qatar plays a role no doubt but real crooks are their own people.

By mohdata• 8 years 8 months ago.
mohdata

i have routinely been told by many of these labourers that it is their own agents in their countries and the management of their companies who are most to blame..false promises are the order of the day and their whole recruitment is a lie starting from when these agents visit the villages/towns with promises of prosperous debt free lives..sure, the Qatari owners of the companies could be more pro-active; they too are frequently duped by their own employees..they are the ones who hold the power to stop what the expat management and agents are doing to both the sleeping Qatari owner and toiling Nepali worker

By britexpat• 8 years 8 months ago.
britexpat

Your points are valid.. I had a case in Saudi where a labour residence caught fire and the labourers lost their belongings.

We raised money to help them , and our manager gave the money to the Supervisor for distribution..

Guess what .. they didn't get it..

Having said that, the authorities need to do spot checks on conditions and work with the Nepalese Embassy to identify and correct the problems..

By Good old joe• 8 years 8 months ago.
Good old joe

....According to the International Labour Organisation, forced labour is "all work which is exacted from someone under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily".

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/sep/25/qatar-nepalese-workers-poverty-camps

By Lucky_gal• 8 years 8 months ago.
Lucky_gal

Greedy people ...care nothing about the well being of the employees but only the addition of zeros in their accounts. Sad world we live in.

By Lucky_gal• 8 years 8 months ago.
Lucky_gal

Greedy people ...care nothing about the well being of the employees but only the addition of zeros in their accounts. Sad world we live in.

By MarcoNandoz-01• 8 years 8 months ago.
MarcoNandoz-01

painther : Call it post-Nazi-era Down syndrome.

By MarcoNandoz-01• 8 years 8 months ago.
MarcoNandoz-01

painther: Germans are very good at cleaning toilets.

By doha estate• 8 years 8 months ago.
doha estate

painther, do it by yourself, do not look for someone to clean your own mess!!!

By painther• 8 years 8 months ago.
painther

..and guess who's blaming for slavery?? people who started slavery across the globe in first place ; Hypocrites!!!

By painther• 8 years 8 months ago.
painther

anyone will do Thelo; even a Greek will clean toilets sooner the way their economy is tumbling.

By ed94387• 8 years 8 months ago.
ed94387

it is caste system...

By painther• 8 years 8 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
painther

It’s easy to “create” an article sitting in London enjoying shaikh’s invested money. People should not forget, during days of recession it’s Qatar which provided job n livelihood to millions ($39 bn remitted in 2012). Qatar can live without expats (downgrading their Ultra development plans) but many incl socalled ever so perfect westerners will face the recession music.

By painther• 8 years 8 months ago.
painther

People who claim to be with truth should not be biased!!!

It's wrong to burden Qatar for all the mess with labours; in majority of the cases it’s their “own” guy (supervisor/agents/labor supplier) be it Indian/Nepali/pakstani/bangaldeshi…even socalled ‘ever so perfect westerners’ are no less when it comes to squeezing blood of poor laborers, ain’t they in management of almost all such companies? What the hell they do for betterment of labors? None, except counting their Riyals and blaming Locals who hardly have any say in day to day operations in many companies!!

By FathimaH• 8 years 8 months ago.
FathimaH

just thinking of their plight, I truly cannot imagine living the way they do. Such large scale oppression! Do their employers truly believe they will never be made to pay for their crimes? Hope and pray such publications serve in making laws and regulations here stronger so we can soon see the end to such a dastardly awful practice!

By doha estate• 8 years 8 months ago.
doha estate

Sorry for these poor neapl

By Kareena74• 8 years 8 months ago.
Kareena74

It is beyond disgusting but actually it is not shocking.. It is not something new.. We all have been aware about what goes here for decades but now the west have finally got their hands on the dirt.. Let's see what happens now to FIFA.. I bet nothing would change and Qatar would end up hosting it as per schedule.

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