If conditions for workers in Qatar don’t improve ahead of the massive World Cup construction project, as many as 4,000 workers may die before a ball is kicked
Construction can be a deadly business and no more so, it would seem, than in Qatar, where close to 200 Nepalese workers died on construction sites last year – and they are only the deaths that have come to light.
The International Trade Union Confederation has said if conditions for workers in Qatar don’t improve ahead of the massive World Cup construction project, as many as 4,000 workers may die before a ball is kicked in 2022. Increasing international pressure has forced the Qataris to act and this week the organising committee unveiled a detailed charter setting out standards aimed at improving workers’ conditions.
However, the charter is only for immediate World Cup projects, such as the stadiums, and does not cover the much wider infrastructure projects being built to host the event.
That is not good enough.
Questions have also been raised over how the charter will be implemented and enforced, while unions argue that because it involves no changes to existing laws that deny migrant workers “fundamental rights” it is “totally inadequate”.
It is however, a step forward.
UK firms – and the global construction industry – must continue to engage with this issue and pressure the Qataris to do more.
Allister Hayman, news editor