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29 Nov 2022

Pramod Acharya, Open Democracy

Qatar: Families of Nepali workers who died while emirate prepared for World Cup struggle to apply & obtain compensation while death figures reportedly remain an undercount

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Kathmandu Airport

"Death in Qatar, but no just compensation for families back home," 23 Nov 2022

… Qatar will have spent an estimated $229 billion to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Much of that spending, made possible by the country’s oil wealth, has gone into building new infrastructure... by the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who have gone to work in Qatar since it was chosen in 2010…

Many paid for their employment with their lives. The Guardian reported in February 2021 that at least 6,500 migrant workers had met their deaths in Qatar since construction began. That was nearly two years ago, and the number was thought to be an underestimate even then. The full death toll is now certainly higher...

Anjali Shrestha, an officer at the board, said he’s surprised by the number of deaths of Nepali workers. “The workers go to work abroad proving themselves as ‘fit’ in pre-departure medical exam,” Anjali said. “I’m surprised what happens to them there within a very short period of time.”

[The numbers] are also likely an undercount because the board only tracks the deaths of workers whose families have applied for compensation. Not all are eligible…

Compensation from Qatar, meanwhile, is a distant dream in most cases. Families say the Nepali embassy in Qatar isn’t pro-active and that the deaths of migrant workers aren’t properly investigated…