Cases of migrant worker abuse in Qatar continue to be reported during World Cup

There have been 26 cases of reported abuse impacting migrant workers in Qatar since the World Cup began, according to the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre [BHRRC].

The body, which tracks publicly reported allegations of labour abuse committed by businesses, says these figures are “just the tip of the iceberg” given the restrictions workers face when making reports.

Of the reported cases, they include: 15 where workers’ conditions of employment were violated; nine where workers reported restrictions on fundamental freedoms – including of expression, movement and association; 16 where health and safety violations were cited; six where workers cited inhumane or precarious living conditions and two where workers reportedly experienced verbal of physical abuse.

Workers reported wage theft in 11 cases and paying recruitment fees in six cases. Workers’ deaths were reported in eight cases. These reported deaths do not necessarily mean they occurred during the World Cup.

Construction workers were impacted in 17 cases. Six cases impacted workers who built, guarded or were otherwise working around or near the stadiums at Al Bayt, Khalifa International and Lusail.

The BHRRC has recorded 863 cases of alleged abuse across Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since 2016. As many as 433 cases occurred in Qatar, with 227 in the United Arab Emirates.

A leading Qatari official, Hassan Al Thawadi, admitted that hundreds of migrant workers died building the World Cup. In a TV interview, Al Thawadi put the number of worker deaths for the tournament “between 400 and 500” for the first time, a drastically higher figure than any other previously offered by Doha.

Qatar is also investigating the death of a Filipino worker who reportedly suffered an accident while doing repairs at a resort that had served as training base for the Saudi team during the World Cup.

The Philippines’ foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that one of its nationals had died on December 8, while working at a resort south of the capital Doha.

The Independent has approached Fifa for comment.