Nepalese migrant workers in Qatar are suffering through
human rights abuses that amount to “modern-day slavery,”Pete Pattisson of the Guardian reports.
The laborers are working on the Lusail City project — a currently non-existent planned city north of Doha that will host the final of the 2022 World Cup.
According to the Guardian, at least 44 workers died this summer.
Workers say that their employers withheld pay, forced them to work in 122-degree heat with no water, and confiscated their passports to prevent them from escaping. They also live 12 to a room and have been reduced to begging for food.
Aidan McQuade of Anti-Slavery International told the Guardian:
“The evidence uncovered by the Guardian is clear proof of the use of systematic forced labour in Qatar. In fact, these working conditions and the astonishing number of deaths of vulnerable workers go beyond forced labour to the slavery of old where human beings were treated as objects. There is no longer a risk that the World Cup might be built on forced labour. It is already happening.”
Qatar won the 2022 World Cup over the United States amid widespread bribery accusations and questions about how the country would stage the tournament.
After initially promising to hold the event during the summer with the help of futuristic air-conditioned stadiums, they’ve already abandoned that idea and FIFA is now pushing to move it to the winter. The big European professional leagues are outraged about the decision since it will interfere with their seasons.
Qatar has yet to start building the stadiums for the event.
This is what Lusail City looks like on Google Maps right now: