The Guardian reports that the International Trade Union Confederation has claimed that up to 4,000 migrant workers could die in Qatar as a result of building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. The group has been analyzing construction builders’ deaths for the last two years, and has found that the annual death toll in construction could rise to as much as 600 per year -- nearly 12 per week -- unless the Qatari government makes urgent reforms.
As many as 500,000 workers from countries including Nepal, Sri Lanka and India are expected to join Qatar’s already 1.2 million-strong migrant workforce, the large majority of whom work in construction.
For many of the deceased, the cause of death is often unclear, as autopsies are often not conducted and attribution is in far too many cases given to routine heart failure. Meanwhile, workers are subjected to harsh and dangerous conditions, from searing summer heat to inadequate safety standards and are paid such that they are in many cases forced to live cramped and squalid living quarters. According to the Guardian, 44 Nepalese workers died from June 4-Aug. 8 this year, with about half being attributed to heart failure.