This is the fact, how many people died in Qatar for the preparation of the Fifa World Cup
The football world cup has started in Qatar and along with it, the criticism of Qatar is also increasing. According to various reports, 15,000 people were allegedly killed in preparation for the FIFA World Cup. But the question is whether these figures are accurate
Ever since Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup,
there has been debate about how foreign workers are treated in Qatar and how many people have lost their lives in preparation for the tournament. Hands have been washed.
There are varying estimates of how many workers died at the World Cup construction sites in Qatar, but exact figures are hard to come by.
This fact check examines data published by FIFA, Qatari authorities, human rights groups and the media. These figures have sometimes been declared true, sometimes misleading and sometimes false. The authors of Fact Check are aware that these figures only give a vague impression of the suffering faced by migrant workers in Qatar.
Claim: “6,500 or as many as 15,000 foreign workers died preparing for the World Cup in Qatar.”
DW Fact Check: False
A report published by Amnesty International in 2021 stated that 15,021 migrant workers died in connection with the World Cup in Qatar. Similarly, ‘The Guardian’ published a report in February 2021 which put the death toll at 6,500.
Although in those days the reports were used as evidence for the claim that so many people were killed in the run-up to the football World Cup.
However, neither Amnesty International nor the Guardian has ever claimed that all of these people died at a stadium construction site or during any other project undertaken in preparation for the World Cup.
Both figures refer only to foreign nationals of various nationalities and occupations who died in Qatar during the past decade.
Amnesty International cites 15,021 people, obtained from official figures from the Qatari authorities themselves, as the number of expatriates killed in the country between 2010 and 2019. Is. Between the year 2011 and 2020, this number was 15799.
15,000 people died, but not just for the sake of the World Cup
These figures include not only low-skilled workers, security personnel or finance, but also foreign teachers, doctors, engineers and other entrepreneurs.
Many of them hailed from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and other developing countries, while many came from other middle- or high-income countries. Qatari government figures do not provide much more detail than this
As for The Guardian’s report, journalist Pat Pattison and his team cited 6,751 deaths based on official figures from the governments of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Most of the foreign workers in Qatar are from these countries.
Qatari authorities do not deny these figures. In response to The Guardian, the Qatari government’s Department of Communications said, “While any loss of life is troubling, the death rate among these communities (i.e. foreign workers) is within the expected range given the population and demographics.” ‘ But is this true?
Claim: “Mortality rates in these communities are within the range expected by population and demographics.
DW Fact Check: Misleading
According to the Qatari government, the annual average death rate is 1,500 deaths out of 2 million people.
First of all, it is important to mention that according to the World Health Organization, the death rate of foreign workers in Qatar is lower than in their home countries. Moreover, the death rate among foreign workers is lower than that of Qatari nationals.
However, given that foreign workers in Qatar do not represent their countries of origin or the general population of Qatar, such figures are misleading.
Foreign workers are healthier when they come to Qatar
Factors such as the ratio of children to the elderly in Qatar’s native population, and the high mortality rate among individuals, make the mortality rate among migrant workers comparable to that of the native population of any country.
In addition, a professional foreign worker coming to Qatar has to go through the entire medical examination process to obtain a Qatari visa. Thus, applicants with potentially infectious diseases such as AIDS, HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis or tuberculosis are not eligible for visas.
Also, such figures do not include those foreign workers who die after returning to their home countries.
For example, over the past ten years, Nepali authorities have recorded a significant increase in the incidence of kidney failure among male citizens between the ages of 20 and 50. Many of them had returned home after working in the Middle East.
According to health experts in Nepal, hard work in the climatic conditions of the Gulf countries and low quantity and low quality of drinking water are the reasons for the increase in kidney diseases.
Claim: “Only three deaths have occurred while working on World Cup stadium construction sites”
DW Fact Check: Misleading
FIFA and the Qatari World Cup Organizing Committee insist that only three people have died working at World Cup construction sites.
By FIFA and the Qatari government, ‘on-the-job deaths’ refer to deaths that occurred during the construction of seven new stadiums and training facilities over the past decade.
The three dead include two Nepalese nationals who died during the construction of the Janub Stadium in Al Wakrah and a British national who died during the construction of the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan.
Apart from these factors, the authorities also confirmed the death of 37 other people in connection with ‘non-work related deaths’. Such deaths include, for example, two Indian nationals and an Egyptian national who died in a traffic accident on their way from their residence to work in November 2019.
However, with Qatar hosting the World Cup, not only the stadium, but also other construction activities in the Gulf state has accelerated. A series of projects related to the tournament began, including new motorways, hotels, a new metro system, an airport expansion and a whole new city at Lusail, north of Doha.
FIFA claims that around 30,000 people were employed at the World Cup venues even during the peak of construction activity.
Thus, the official acknowledgment of only three deaths does not count the deaths that occurred during a construction project that might not have existed without the World Cup. Similarly, the thousands of deaths of foreign workers who died at their residence after work were not counted. The exact causes of these deaths will not be determined.
According to research by The Guardian and Amnesty International, Qatari doctors declared nearly 70 percent of deaths as ‘natural deaths’ which may have been caused by ‘heart or respiratory arrest’.
However, according to medical experts, heart and respiratory arrest are not the causes of death but the results. Cardiac arrest can be caused by a heart attack or other irregularity, while respiratory arrest can be caused by an allergic reaction or poisoning. But no such explanation was offered.
In a 2022 documentary series by German public broadcaster ARD, Qatari doctors even reported being forced to issue such ‘death certificates’.
In an independent report commissioned by the Qatari government in early 2014, law firm DLA Piper criticized the practice and “strongly recommended” that the government “in the event of an unexpected or sudden death”. Allow post-mortem.” In late 2021, the International Labor Organization (ILO) also criticized the lack of proper documentation and investigation into the causes of accidents and deaths.
According to experts interviewed by Amnesty International, the exact cause of death cannot be determined in only one percent of cases in the presence of a ‘properly managed health system’. Additionally, in 85 percent of cases, the exact cause of death can be determined without a detailed autopsy.
Human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Fair Square have spoken to many eyewitnesses, whose reports show that heat stroke, fatigue or untreated minor illnesses are the leading causes of many sudden deaths. I am included.
World Cup-related death toll figures depend on a number of factors and definitions, such as where the migrant workers came from, where and when they died, and whether their deaths were classified as ‘deaths at work’. May or may not go.
However, given the inconsistencies and flaws in Qatar’s own official data, it is not possible to draw any firm conclusions. Thus the question arises as to why the Qatari authorities are unable to provide reliable information.
The authors of FactCheck are grateful to Alan Weissmuller from Amnesty International, Pat Pattison from the Guardian and Nicholas McGeehan from Fair Square for helping us understand our data and findings. Unfortunately, authorities in Qatar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka did not respond at the time of publication despite repeated contacts.
This fact-check report was written in German and later translated into other languages