Yesterday, our attention was turned to the horrendous living and working conditions of Qatar's working class, a migrant population that will be responsible for building the infrastructure necessary for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. Today, an investigation by the Guardian paints an even clearer and more haunting picture of the human rights violations that are currently taking place in the World Cup's 2022 host country.
The Guardian spoke with a handful of Nepalese migrant workers, who shared horror stories about what life in Qatar is like. To wit:
"We'd like to leave, but the company won't let us," said one Nepalese migrant employed at Lusail City development, a $45bn (£28bn) city being built from scratch which will include the 90,000-seater stadium that will host the World Cup final. "I'm angry about how this company is treating us, but we're helpless. I regret coming here, but what to do? We were compelled to come just to make a living, but we've had no luck."
The Guardian's investigation also found men throughout the wider Qatari construction industry sleeping 12 to a room in places and getting sick through repulsive conditions in filthy hostels. Some say they have been forced to work without pay and left begging for food.
"We were working on an empty stomach for 24 hours; 12 hours' work and then no food all night," said Ram Kumar Mahara, 27. "When I complained, my manager assaulted me, kicked me out of the labour camp I lived in and refused to pay me anything. I had to beg for food from other workers."
The Guardian also reports that at least 44 Nepalese workers have died in Qatar between June 4 and August 8, most from heart attacks. All this, and work on the World Cup stadiums has yet to begin. The Guardian estimates that an additional 1.5 million migrant laborers will be required to complete construction on time.