At the time that preparations for 2022 World Cup continue, shocking revelations brings to light the Guardian for the huge price they owe human lives.
According to his research Guardian, citing unshakable figures, more than 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have lost their lives in projects related to the big event, since FIFA commissioned it in the Arab country, 10 years ago.
Data from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, 2011-2020 5,927 deaths migrant workers.
Separately, data from the Pakistani embassy in Qatar speak of additional 824 deaths of Pakistanis workers between 2010 and 2020.
This number – corresponding to 12 workers killed per week from each of the five countries since December 2010 – is probably lower than the real one, as the deaths of other workers who arrived in Qatar from countries such as Philippines and the Kenya, as well as the few Qataris.
Also, the deaths of the last months of 2020 have not been added to the sad report.
In the last decade in Qatar there is an upsurge of projects for the 2022 World Cup.
Beyond the seven new stages, thousands of cheap workers from around the world have been involved in projects such as the construction of new airports, roads, transport infrastructure, hotels and a new city, which will host the big sporting event.
Deaths are not just the result of accidents, but some are attributed to the miserable working and living conditions of workers, who are “stacked” in containers and work long hours under very high temperatures.
In India, the family of Madhu Bollapally never realized how the healthy 43-year-old died of “natural causes” while working in Qatar.
His body was found lying on the floor of his dormitory.
The sad number of deaths in Qatar is revealed in large official data sheets stating the causes of death: multiple serious injuries due to falling from a height, suffocation due to hanging, unspecified cause of death due to decay.
But among the causes, by far the most common are the so-called “natural deaths”, which are often attributed to acute heart or respiratory failure.
According to data obtained by the British media, 69% of deaths among workers from India, Nepal and Bangladesh are registered as natural. Only among Indians, this percentage reaches 80%.
The Guardian investigation also highlighted the lack of transparency, seriousness and meticulousness in recording deaths in Qatar.
The embassies in Doha and the governments of the countries that send workers are reluctant to disclose the data, possibly for political reasons.
Where statistics have been provided, there are inconsistencies between the figures given by various government agencies and there is no standard form for recording the causes of death.
A South Asian embassy said it could not release cause of death data because it was registered only manuscripts in a notebook.
Officially, only 37 workers’ deaths have been directly linked to World Cup projects, of which the organizing committee says only three occurred during the work, but it is obviously an attempt not to tarnish the image of the event.
“We are deeply saddened by all these tragedies and have investigated each incident individually to make sure we are learning from what is happening. “We always try to be transparent on this issue and put things in their place after inaccurate reports about the number of workers who have lost their lives in our projects”, was the comment of the organizing committee for the article.
A FIFA spokesman for the same publication commented: “Having taken very strict measures for the safety and health of workers, the frequency of accidents in construction for the Qatar World Cup is very low compared to other similar projects around the world.”
The Guardian, however, stressed that the world federation and the organizing committee did not present any tangible evidence to support their claims.
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