The Guardian reports that more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar amid the nation’s preparation to host the 2022 World Cup.
The report cites government data from the home nations of migrant workers, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The data have been compiled since Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010, working out to an average of 12 deaths per week, according to the report.
FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar despite widespread concerns over human rights violations and treatment of migrant workers. Amnesty International has since documented conditions of workers being “exploited” and “subjected to forced labour.”
“They can’t change jobs, they can’t leave the country, and they often wait months to get paid,” a report from the human rights organization states.
According to The Guardian, 2,711 workers from India, 1,641 from Nepal, 1,018 from Bangladesh, 824 from Pakistan and 557 from Sri Lanka have died working in Qatar since 2010. The report estimates that the actual death toll of migrant workers is “considerably higher” since the data it cites is limited to the listed countries.
The nation with a population of less than 3 million is depending on 2 million migrant workers to man its labour force. The Philippines and Kenya are among other nations to send migrant workers to Qatar, according to the report.
The listed causes of death include electrocution, blunt injuries due to a fall from height and suicide. Most of the deaths are listed as “natural” while citing heart or respiratory failure, according to the report.
Daytime temperatures in Qatar can approach 120 degrees during the summer. Normally played in the summer, Qatar’s World Cup will be held in November and December because of the oppressive heat.