The World Cup is expected to take place in Qatar in 2022 and construction is already underway. Despite harsh criticism from human rights activists, migrant workers face horrible conditions – and nothing much has changed.
The statistics predict that as many as 40 migrants work themselves to death every month. The Guardian predicted that by 2022, this will result in the death of 4,000 migrants.
World Cup fever has gripped migrant workers in Qatar. Symptoms include cardiac arrest, heart attack and heat stroke #Qatar2022— Jason Spacey (@Jason_Spacey) February 24, 2015
The harsh reality the migrant workers toil in is nearly unbelievable.
While Qatar considers hosting the World Cup in the winter due to its harsh summer temperatures, the hired migrants will continue to construct the massive Khalifa Stadium, working in deplorable conditions.
On Qatar World Cup always odd to see concern for players health, hope they show the same for migrant workers!— Michael Hortin (@michaelhortin) February 24, 2015
According to reports, shifts have been downsized to eight hours – but on a technicality, workers can opt to put in 15 hours of overtime. Many of these workers are migrants who work away from home – usually poor countries such as Nepal – so they can send money back to their families.
They live in “labor camps” in Doha, in cramped places where as many as 15 workers are squeezed into one room.
Being migrants, they are forced to give their employers their passports, according to the labor laws of the country. This means that they are stuck and unable to leave even though the conditions are detrimental to their well-being.
The BBC reported on the workers' plight, which Sharan Burrow of the International Trade Union Federation describes as “modern slavery.”
This is not the first time a fancy event hosted by a Gulf country came under the scrutiny of international pressure to change. A similar situation presented itself during the aftermath of the Arab Spring in regard to boycotting Bahrain’s Formula 1 race – an international sporting event.
Despite the international community, nothing much has changed there and chances are, nothing much will change here either.