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Exclusive: International Trade Union Confederation claims about 12 labourers will die each week unless action is taken
theguardian.com, Thursday 26 September 2013
Qatar‘s construction frenzy ahead of the 2022 World Cup is on course to cost the lives of at least 4,000 migrant workers before a ball is kicked, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has claimed.
The group has been scrutinising builders’ deaths in the Gulf emirate for the past two years and said that at least half a million extra workers from countries including Nepal, India and Sri Lanka are expected to flood in to complete stadiums, hotels and infrastructure in time for the World Cup kickoff.
The annual death toll among those working on building sites could rise to 600 a year – almost a dozen a week – unless the Doha government makes urgent reforms, it says.
The ITUC has based the estimate on current mortality figures for Nepalese and Indian workers who form the bulk of Qatar’s 1.2 million-strong migrant workforce, the large majority of whom are builders.
While it admits that the cause of death is not clear for many of the deceased – with autopsies often not being conducted and routine attribution to heart failure – it believes harsh and dangerous conditions at work and cramped and squalid living quarters are to blame.