The Guardian Uncovers Modern Day Slavery in Qatar

Doha, Qatar, Burj Doha, Doha construction, migrant workers, modern day slavery, the guardian investigation, world cup 2022, Qatar

Almost as soon as Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup with a suite of swanky solar-powered stadiums, activists started clambering about the emirate’s terrible working conditions. Turn’s out, their warnings were dead on.

A recent investigation launched byThe Guardian has uncovered just how badly migrant workers are treated in Qatar as it prepares to accommodate hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of visitors in 2022.

Facing both a construction glut and and a domestic population that is less willing than able to build their own hotels, roads, airports, and stadia, Qatari leaders have been recruiting vulnerable Nepalese workers to do the grunt work. These workers are often in some debt, since they have had to pay recruitment companies to secure work for them.

Once they get to Qatar, where they are hoping to earn some extra cash to send home, they often find themselves in cramped hot rooms with no ventilation, their passports are sometimes withheld, so is pay. Men talk about having to beg for food and work long, arduous shifts hungry and thirsty because they have no money.

“We were working on an empty stomach for 24 hours; 12 hours’ work and then no food all night,” Ram Kumar Mahara, who is just 27 years old, told the paper.

“When I complained, my manager assaulted me, kicked me out of the labour camp I lived in and refused to pay me anything. I had to beg for food from other workers.”

“We’d like to leave, but the company won’t let us,” said one Nepalese migrant employed at Lusail City development, a brand new $45bn (£28bn) city 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 Guardian obtained records from the Nepalese embassy in Doha which reveal that 44 young, healthy men died between June and August, more than half of them from heart attacks or heart failure. That equates to nearly one person every day.

After unearthing a plethora of scathing reports, the paper approached the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee with their allegations. Whilst the group claims that work has yet to start for the World Cup preparations, they expressed concern and told the paper that the relevant authorities are conducting their own investigation.

Head over to The Guardian too learn more about the dreadful conditions that workers in Qatar face and – particularly if you’re a sports fan and plan to attend this magnanimous event – consider making your complaints heard.

9 thoughts on “The Guardian Uncovers Modern Day Slavery in Qatar

  1. jehad drubi

    slavery in Qatar is lots of nonsense…many of these workers earn less than a dollar a day in their countries .
    they are offered jobs instead of being unemployed in Nepal and India …i worked in aljaber engineering… 2009 slave labor Qatar contracting…cheap labor relative to American and EU standards…. at that time was wondering about how they could survive on 1000-3000 qar. but when you exchange it to their local currency it is more than what a minister earns in their country…and if you think about it no one forces them to accept such jobs …. the government facilitate the business climate for people to take advantage of the booming economy which is envy of the world. most all Qataris I met are nice people and as a climbing country it is developing at fast base it workers right and the rights of all residents citizens and not citizens.

    Reply
    • jehad drubi

      Qatari citizens and non citizens enjoy the luxury and freedom and abundance of work for long time to come and the wisdom and guidance of its leaders in building and diversifying the economy is having great impact it is more that many countries piling up stacks of cash instead the government of Qatar is spending at infrastructure projects airports sewage systems railways and aviation. it achieved for its people more than any country I know … and hosting the world cup would make the country like the Pearl project,a jewel in the desert. an green oasis.

      Reply
  2. Joe

    This modern day slavery is terrible and a great shame. Surely this behavior should not be tolerated within a country that is Islamic? Or am I missing something here….

    Reply
  3. ArjunKumar

    Catherine and Karin are totally right! India also is practicing modern-day slavery every day, in the name of economic growth and development!

    But it is not only the fact of inhuman governments. Western companies are involved too, like Danish Rockwool, as you can see in this video: http://youtu.be/O0v2yIzOpZE. They try to make it an issue of the 2014 Indian elections.

    Reply
  4. Karin Kloosterman

    Yes I think most of the Middle East, and Near East countries can share these stories. The question is about proportion and how badly workers are being treated. I once interviewed Filipino housekeeper being held hostage in Lebanon during the last war with Israel. The stories can make you cry. I’ve read similar and worse stories from Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem.

    Reply
  5. Michael J. Lehner

    As Catherine says, Qatar isn’t the only one violating human rights.. But Geez, that’s a country hosting something very special. I sure hope the IOC finds about this. Of course they already do, probably. They are about as likely to do something as the U.N. And no, I am not bitter..just old and wise.

    Reply

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