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  • Migrant labourers work at a construction site at the Aspire Zone in Doha, Qatar, March 26, 2016.

    Migrant labourers work at a construction site at the Aspire Zone in Doha, Qatar, March 26, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 June 2019

“Most of the international companies working in Qatar do not meet safety requirements and as a result many construction workers lose their lives through this gross negligence of proper safety."

Up to 1,400 Nepali citizens have been killed during the construction of Qatar's new World Cup stadium, a government official told the Arab News Agency.

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“It is a fact that many Nepali workers have lost their lives in Qatar over the years,” the spokesperson for the Nepali Ministry of Labor, Narayan Ragmi, told Arab News. “I don’t have any information regarding the documentary right now, I am not in a situation to tell you how many people lost their lives in Qatar. But that many people lost their lives in Qatar, that is true. Since the time we started sending our laborers to Qatar some people have lost their lives. I am not sure whether it is 1,400 or 200 or 300. I must verify this number with the authorities directly concerned with the issue.”

According to Ragmi, there was a memorandum of understanding with Qatar, as welll as a bilateral agreement when it comes to Nepali laborers. The Nepali workers are briefed before departing for Qatar via a pre-departure orientation program. 

Prior to the Arab News interview with Ragmi, the German broadcaster WDR hosted a show called "Trapped in Qatar", which explosed the plight of many of these migrant workers currently building the World Cup´stadium in Doha. The bereaved families of those Nepali workers killed in Qatar told WDR that they have not received any compensation from the government in Doha.

Janak Sapkota, a Katmandu-based journalist who has been reporting on labor migration from Nepal, said workers suffered terribly. “Most of the international companies working in Qatar do not meet safety requirements and as a result many construction workers lose their lives through this gross negligence of proper safety,” he told Arab News. “The living conditions are also very bad, the salary is too low and also exploitative. A few years back the plight of Nepali migrant workers in Qatar was very bad but, after the matter was raised and debate took place around that, Qatari companies took steps to respect the rights of the workers, but they are still not sufficient.”

Qatar has been under heavy criticism over the poor treatment of migrant workers and the high number of deaths caused during the construction of the World Cup stadium. 

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