Qatar’s construction workers “ruthlessly exploited” says Amnesty International

Amnesty International’s secretary general, Salil Shetty, has accused Qatar’s construction sector of “ruthlessly exploiting” employees as work gets underway on Fifa World Cup 2022 stadia.

Mr Shetty’s comments followed the publication of a new report from the human rights group in which interviews were conducted with 210 workers, employers and government officials.

The Dark Side of Migration: Spotlight on Qatar’s construction sector ahead of the World Cup, he said, had cast a spotlight on “an alarming level of exploitation”.

“It is simply inexcusable in one of the richest countries in the world, that so many migrant workers are being ruthlessly exploited, deprived of their pay and left struggling to survive,” remarked Mr Shetty.

“Fifa has a duty to send a strong public message that it will not tolerate human rights abuses on construction projects related to the World Cup.”

According to the report, migrant workers often endure non-payment of wages, dangerous working conditions and squalid accommodation.

Amnesty says over 1,000 people were admitted to a trauma unit in 2012 having fallen from height at work, with some 10% left disabled as a result. The mortality rate, claims the humans rights group, was also “significant”.

Construction workers facing “modern-day slavery”

Amnesty’s report follows an investigation the UK’s Guardian newspaper in September which concluded that workers’ conditions were akin to “modern-day slavery”.

Qatari officials, who are yet to comment on the latest report, have previously assured that work conditions would be suitable for those involved in construction of World Cup facilities.

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