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Expat wanderer

191 Nepali Laborers Died in Qatar in 2013

From Agence France, a report that 191 Nepali laborers died in Qatar in ONE year:

Qatar-copy_20111108091846

Nearly 200 Nepali migrant workers died in Qatar last year, many of them from heart failure, officials said Monday, figures that highlight the grim plight of labourers in the Gulf nation.

Tens of thousands of impoverished Nepalis head every year to Qatar, where a construction boom is gathering pace as it prepares to host the 2022 football World Cup.

The Nepal embassy in Doha said it registered 191 deaths last year compared with 169 the year before, with a foreign ministry official describing many of the deaths as “unnatural”.

“In the year 2013, a total of 191 Nepali migrant workers died in Qatar,” Harikanta Paudel, a senior embassy official, told AFP by telephone.

“The highest number of deaths occurred in July when 32 workers died,” Paudel said.

Qatar is under mounting pressure over poor conditions for migrant labourers, particularly during the blisteringly hot summer, in the gas-rich nation’s booming construction industry.

A Kathmandu-based foreign ministry official told AFP that a third of the deaths recorded were due to “unnatural” heart failure.

“Young and healthy men in their twenties and thirties have died… it is unnatural,” said official Subhanga Parajuli.

“Cardiac arrest is followed by traffic accidents as another main cause of death. The third cause of death is injuries during work,” Parajuli said.

An Amnesty International report released last November said migrant workers in Qatar endured a series of abuses including “non-payment of wages, harsh and dangerous working conditions, and shocking standards of accommodation”.

The rights group said its researchers overheard one construction firm manager use the term “animals” to describe migrant workers, while a labourer told the watchdog that “Nepalis are treated like cattle”.

Qatari authorities last October said allegations of abuse of labourers working on World Cup facilities were exaggerated but insisted they took such claims seriously.

More than one million Nepali migrant workers toil in the Gulf region and Southeast Asia. Qatar alone hosts around 400,000 Nepalis as part of its two-million strong migrant workforce.

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January 30, 2014 - Posted by | Circle of Life and Death, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Qatar, Statistics, Work Related Issues | , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. That’s so very sad 😦

    Comment by plumpetals | January 31, 2014 | Reply

    • They are worked like dogs. They are treated like less-than-humans. They often live ten to a room. Some will say they live worse than that in Nepal, and starve, but I think that the heart and soul of the believer call for decency in how we treat those who work for us.

      Comment by intlxpatr | January 31, 2014 | Reply

  2. This is really sad. They traveled across the world to get their families some money and they ended up getting sent home in body bags. May they all rest in peace.

    Comment by Razan | January 31, 2014 | Reply

    • So so sad, and so unnecessary.

      Comment by intlxpatr | January 31, 2014 | Reply

  3. looking at the picture the workers in it have all the necessary safety gear on them , so it does speak for the company they work for .

    400,000 workers from Nepal alone in a small country like Qatar is a big problem in itself becuase i dont think the Qataries have the required trained manpower to supervise whats going on in all the construction sites . who is abusing these workers , is it their own supervising nationals or is it other nationals or combination of both ,Someone else must be or supposely doing the supervision , is it other supervision companies ? or is it the contracting companies themselves, after all those Mega projects must be built by International companies because of the size and complixities , and these companies must be held accountable back home for abuses as well.

    Amnesty international would do better to solve this issue quicker if they raised their concern about contracting companies in the countires where these companies are established too. i am sure there are companies who work in Qatar projects from the US ,Europe , India , Far East …etc Even if these companies subcontracted the work to local subcotractors , they should be held responsible .

    This in no way exonerate the Qataries themselves , who responed with a standard “We will look into the matter seriously ” and they must be followed on their promise. They are facing the same problems Dubai faced during the building boom pre 2008 world econmic crises , and now the constuction revival is underway in Dubai and the workers came back again , so there is a regional source for how to deal with the labour abuse issues qatar can draw upon .
    These mega projects in qatar are attracking world media attention ,and the attention of others who dont want Qatar to host the world cup in 2020 becuase of one reason or another , and thats a good thing to keep safety and welfare of the workers in focus.

    Comment by daggero | February 1, 2014 | Reply

    • Daggero, from what I saw, I believe the problem is the sponsorship program – laborers imported with inflated promises, and then held captive to poor wages and unthinkable living conditions – in combination with businessmen wanting to construct buildings at minimum cost, to rent out when finished for incredible sums.

      In Qatar, it is all about the finish. The finishes are marble and glass and gilt.

      A major – really major – U.S. company doing business in Qatar brought in a consultant when seeking offices in Qatar, and it happened he was an acquaintance. As we drove around Qatar, he told me quietly that almost every single building (these were the new towers built near the Sheraton) was badly compromised. When you skimp on labor, you will also be tempted to skimp on things like HVAC, electricity, time – the cement may not have time to set before the next step, or may be poured when it is too hot, etc.)

      I lived in newly built places in both Qatar and Kuwait, lovely places with gorgeous floors and bathrooms, cabinetry, wood wrap, etc. Gorgeous. And dust crept in around every window – and heat – they weren’t sealed properly. Morter failed, and marble tiles came up. Grout dissolved. It was all glorious on the surface, but the underpinnings were shoddy.

      In Qatar, there have been several disasters in major buildings due to electrical fires, even before a building was finished. But not every company will take the time to bring in a consultant to help them evaluate the quality of construction in a rental property, so I am guessing that slowly slowly they will fill.

      Meanwhile, one of the primary killers of the Nepalese is heart failure. I think they just work them to death.

      Comment by intlxpatr | February 1, 2014 | Reply


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