International trade unions warn: “More workers will die building World Cup infrastructure than players will take to the field”

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2022 world cup is a huge construction program for Qatar in order to remake the tiny desert kingdom.

Billions of dollars are involved whether they are spent or earned.

So the stakes are huge. But the matter is not the cost in dollars of those infrastuctures but the cost in lives.

The Guardian revealed that dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses.

This summer many Nepalese workers died at the rate of one a day. Most of them were young and in good shape. Between the 4th  June and 8th August the figures from the Nepalese embassy prove that at least 44 Nepalese workers died during work.

The reports show that all of them died of sudden heart attack, hearth failure or work accident.

“We’d like to leave, but the company won’t let us,” said one Nepalese migrant employee. “We were working on an empty stomach for 24 hours; 12 hours’ work and then no food all night,” said Ram Kumar Mahara, 27.

“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.”

“The evidence uncovered by The Guardian is a clear proof of the use of systematic forced labour in Qatar,” said Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International.

So the question is no longer « Is quatar still using slaves ?» but « How long will the international authority let them do ?» And maybe more importantly, «How long will we let money and power crush the life of the voice-less ?”

                                                     Hugo Pascual 3F1

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