KATHAMNDU, Nepal-At least seventy Nepalese migrant workers died in the run up to the 2022 Football World Cup host country Qatar while working under terrible situation and suffering appalling labour abuse since the start of 2012, the guardian reported.
The death toll was released at a joint press conference held by the governments of Nepal and Qatar, at which they denied Guardian’s reports about brutal working conditions, long hours, lack of food and pay and sordid living quarters facing Nepalese workers.
Mohammad Ramadan, a legal adviser working for Nepali nationals in Qatar, claimed all Nepali workers were “safe and fully respected” but he cited data from the Nepal embassy, which revealed that 20% of the 276 Nepalis who died in Qatar last year were killed on building sites. The rest died of natural causes and in accidents not at the workplace. However, this year 151 Nepalis have died, one in 10 on building sites.
Nearly 3,50,000 Nepali workers are toiling in various factories and companies in Qatar and if the mortality rate was extrapolated across all migrant workers it would suggest that more than 200 foreign workers could have died on Qatari building sites since the start of 2012′ it wrote.
“This reminds us of the industrial revolution 150 years ago,” Guardian further quoted Sharan Burrow, secretary general of the International Trade Union Confederation as statement adding that young healthy men are being worked to death in Qatar.
Last week Guardian had reported that 44 Nepali migrant workers died this summer alone in 2022 World Cup host country Qatar while working under terrible situation. However, officials of Qatar as well as a Qatari lawyer representing Nepali migrant workers in the Gulf state have ruled out the investigative report terming it fake.
“We deny all that is mentioned in these false reports, and ask the bodies that publish them not to use Nepali workers as a means to achieve their inappropriate targets and agendas,” Reuters news agency quoted Ramadan as saying at the “joint news conference”.
In the meantime, the government has taken up the issue with Qatari officials and demanded better treatment for workers as guaranteed by international labour laws.
Officiating Foreign Secretary Ambika Devi Luintel Wednesday called Qatari Ambassador Ahmed Jaseem Mohammed Ali Al-Hamer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and expressed government’s serious concern about conditions in which Nepali nationals work in the oil-rich country.