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25 Nov 2021

Ian Herbert, Daily Mail (UK)

Qatar: Migrant workers paid "measly" £12 for 11 hour days working on World Cup stadiums

In the brutal, unremitting heat of a Wednesday afternoon, a scene to make you flinch for those putting their backs into creating the glittering facade that Qatar will show off when its World Cup kicks off, one year on Sunday.

A half-dozen immigrant workers are on their knees under the sun, hammering away at the task of installing stone pavements around the Lusail Stadium, the as yet unfinished venue where the World Cup final will be held.

We discuss their pay — £12 a day — and their daily lives. Two hours from now, they will board one of the filthy Tata buses which are already chugging through this place, for a one-hour unpaid journey back north to their camp.

There is one universal anxiety — their enforced leave from this place for five months, from next August, as the Gulf state presents its best face to the world. ‘The lieu,’ as these men all call it. They have been led to believe it will be unpaid. But they are generally philosophical and uncomplaining...

Amnesty International’s damning Reality Check report published on Tuesday on the state of migrant workers finds that ‘heat stress’ has posed ‘a huge risk to workers’ and caused an unquantifiable number of deaths.

It details the cases of six relatively young migrants whose deaths here remain unexplained.