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14 Oct 2022

Qatar: In-depth series reveals suffering of Nepali migrant workers who helped build infrastructure ahead of World Cup; includes co responses

Ekkasit A Siam, Shutterstock

In July Blankspot translated the first part of its series from the Swedish original and in October it published the English translation of parts 2 and 3.

The series takes a close look at the experience of Nepali migrant workers that went to Qatar to help build the infrastructure to support with the hosting of the World Cup as well as those that are on their way out to Qatar. It also looks at the impact and suffering of the families of workers through in-depth interviews with relatives of workers that died in Qatar, often in unexplained circumstances.

As well as some accounts of those that are happy with their experience in Qatar, the series details several serious allegations of abuse and exploitation including of unexplained deaths, payment of illegal recruitment fees, low and non-payment of wages or end of service benefits.

Where companies were named in relation to allegations we sought responses.

We invited Marriott to respond to allegations that a waitress employed by a subcontractor at its St Regis Doha hotel paid recruitment fees and was left stranded in Qatar for 17 months without wages when the pandemic hit. We also invited the Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond (Royal Dutch Football Association) to respond to this allegation as the Dutch team will be staying at the St Regis Doha during the World Cup. The response from Marriott and the Royal Dutch Football Association can be accessed below. (The details of this allegation are in Part 3 of the series)

We invited a Nepali recruitment company, GS Employment Service, to respond to allegations a worker it was sending to Qatar paid recruitment fees and had been given inaccurate information about the job he was going to be provided with. It did not provide a response. (The details of this allegation are in Part 2 of the series)

Company Responses

Marriott View Response
Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond (Dutch Football Association) View Response
GS Employment Service

No Response