According to the country’s top World Cup official on Tuesday, more than 400 migrant workers died in industrial accidents in Qatar in the years leading up to the World Cup.
When asked how many individuals died “during World Cup work,” Hassan Al-Thawadi, the president of Qatar’s delivery and legacy organizing committee, said 400-500.
According to the organizing group, he quoted “national numbers covering the period of 2014-2020 for all work-related fatalities” in Qatar, “including all industries and nationalities.”
According to the findings, 414 workers were killed over an eight-year period.
More over 2.5 million of Qatar’s 2.9 million citizens are migrant workers, and the country’s working conditions have come under fire, especially in light of the major construction projects that have transformed the small Gulf state over the last ten years.
Despite refuting rights groups’ claims that thousands of foreign workers were killed, Qatar has never produced accurate data for the number of killings.
In the interview, Thawadi confirmed this figure. Only 37 workers on World Cup projects have died, according to authorities, and only three of those deaths were caused by labor accidents.
“One death is one too many. To tell it bluntly, “Thawadi stated.
His words, however, sparked harsher criticism from human rights organizations.
According to Amnesty International’s Steve Cockburn, thousands of employees have gone home in coffins over the last 10 years with no explanation for their loved ones.
Although the entire number of lives lost will never be known, hundreds of these deaths are likely to have been caused by the excessive heat and poor working conditions in Qatar.
Following international union pressure, Qatar enacted changes that have been praised.
Its “kafala” labor system, which gave employers substantial power over whether people could abandon their jobs or even the country, has been phased out.
A minimum wage of 1,000 riyals ($260) has also been enforced, and employees’ ability to work outside in the heat is curtailed.
Several officials, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who had just returned from Qatar for the World Cup, praised the progress but maintained that more needed to be done.