Target: Qatar’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Dr. Abdullah Saleh Mubarak Al-Khulaifi
Goal: Secure living wages and improved working conditions for migrant workers.
One Nepali migrant worker dies every two days working to prepare Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. One hundred and eighty-four Nepali workers died in 2014 as a result of the harsh working conditions, including forced labor, restricted access to drinking water, and the intense desert heat. It’s not only Nepali people working, either—workers from India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are also working in Qatar under the same conditions, and if nothing changes, it’s estimated that more than 4,000 workers will die by the time the World Cup takes place.
Human rights activists have already put pressure on Qatar to reform its working conditions, and the country claimed it would make changes back in 2013. Investigations have revealed that little to nothing has been done to help these migrant workers, who continue to work long hours in a desert climate for low wages in the name of hosting a sporting event. Qatar’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs has claimed that they are working to protect the workers against exploitation and that changes will take time, but there is no excuse for allowing migrant workers to die so that Qatar can reap the tourism and economic benefits of hosting a major sporting event like the World Cup.
The lives of Qatar’s migrant workers should come first. While it may take time for policy overhauls to take place country-wide, these workers deserve living wages, free access to water, and working hours that do not force them to spend so much time in the desert heat. Ask Qatar’s Minister of Labor and Social Affairs to rectify these conditions immediately.
Dear Dr. Abdullah Saleh Mubarak Al-Khulaifi,
Qatar has enlisted the help of migrant workers from several countries to prepare for 2022’s World Cup. Though Qatar has made some efforts to address the low wages of these workers—wages which, in some cases, were not being paid at all—little has been done to address the poor working conditions that are literally killing the migrant workers. Nepalese workers are dying at a rate of one every two days, and that’s just the workers from Nepal, not the numerous others from India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
These workers are slaving away in the desert climate for long hours, trapped by a system that ties employees to their employer for five years. Many of these migrant workers are even prohibited from leaving the country for better work.
These practices must be stopped. Allowing hundreds of workers to die so Qatar can host the World Cup is an exploitation of underprivileged people, and reflects terribly on the country and the sport. Don’t let these unethical practices continue—use your power as Minster of Labor and Social Affairs to ensure these migrant workers are paid living wages and work under conditions that do not directly contribute to an untimely death.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: AxG via Wikimedia Commons