Inspectors in Qatar to probe into working condition

The coffins of two Nepalese workers killed in Qatar are seen on trolleys at Kathmandu airport before delivery to their families.

A team of international inspectors is in Qatar to examine the situation of migrant workers in the 2022 football World Cup host country, which has been blamed for exploitation of the workers.

On Monday, the 18-member delegation from the International Federation of Building and Wood Workers arrived in Qatar to inspect construction sites in the Persian Gulf state and report on the working conditions of the migrant workers.

“This mission is to inspect the conditions of work in the construction sites,” said Gilles Letort, one of the delegates.

Letort said the visit had been planned prior to a September report by The Guardian newspaper, which revealed that at least 44 Nepalese workers died on construction sites in huge World Cup infrastructure projects in Qatar between June 4 and August 8.

“This has been prepared a year ago and it is not linked to the recent campaign,” Letort said, adding, “We will inspect, note, and afterwards, try to create awareness and act to improve the situation of workers based on our findings.”

The Persian Gulf state has been pressured to put an end to exploitation of migrant workers, as it is implementing a multi-billion-dollar construction program as part of preparations for the 2022 football World Cup.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said on October 1 that the country’s response to allegations regarding the maltreatment of migrant workers was “weak and disappointing.”

Last week, the head of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee, Ali al-Marri, admitted some problems the Nepalese workers had, but denied allegations that they were treated like “slaves.”

In March, ITUC filed a complaint with the country’s labor ministry against six Qatari companies for violating the workers’ rights.

ITUC says it has received 6,000 worker complaints in Qatar in 2012 while the Indian embassy in the capital Doha received 1,500 complaints only in the first five months of 2013.

On Monday, ITUC held a symbolic football match in the Belgian capital Brussels to draw the international community’s attention to the issue.

The complaints include making false promises to the workers, withholding their passports, not paying their wages, and forcing them to live in crowded camps.

By Press TV


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