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Rediff.com  » Sports » Migrant Nepalese workers die of 'modern day slavery` in Qatar WCup preparations

Migrant Nepalese workers die of 'modern day slavery` in Qatar WCup preparations

September 26, 2013 12:38 IST

Numerous Nepalese migrant labourers have reportedly died in Qatar recently and many more are enduring atrocities and labour abuses, raising questions about Qatar's preparations to host the 2022 Football World Cup.

Qatar World Cup preparationsAccording to the Guardian, official documents has revealed that at least 44 Nepalese workers, many of them young men, have died between June and August in Qatar due to sudden heart attacks or workplace accidents, and thousands more are facing exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery.

The report said that the investigation also revealed an evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project, reducing workers to the status of illegal aliens by refusing to issue ID cards and confiscation of passports by employers, non-payment of salaries and denying access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

The report mentioned that one of the projects for the upcoming World Cup is the 45 billion-dollar LusailCity development, which is a city built from scratch and will include the 90,000-seater stadium that will host the World Cup final.

According to the report, it has also been found that many workers were getting sick through repulsive conditions in filthy hostels, adding that many of them have been forced to work without pay and have been left begging for food. Nepalese account for about 40 percent of migrant labourers in Qatar, with more than 100,000 Nepalese leaving for the emirate last year in order to remove huge debts accrued to pay recruitment agents for their jobs. 

Image: Labourers work at the construction site of Qatar Foundation headquarters in Doha in preparation for the 2022 Football World  Cup in Qatar

Photograph: Fadi Al-Assaa/Reuters