The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is being paid for in blood.
The Guardian reports that Nepalese migrants building the infrastructure to host the World Cup in Qatar have died at a rate of one every two days in 2014 despite government's promises to improve their working conditions. Even more disturbingly, this report does not include the deaths of Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi workers.
This report follows an alarming 2014 ESPN investigation that asserted in the last year alone, 184 Nepali migrant workers died from "cardiac arrest" caused by the working conditions and extreme heat. And that's just Nepalese workers: The documentary estimated that, at the current rate, more than 4,000 migrant workers will die by the time Qatar puts on the 2022 World Cup.
A brutal project: Qatar had vowed to reform the industry after a 2013 Guardian investigation exposed the slave-like conditions and treatment of migrant workers brought into the country to aid with World Cup preparations. The investigation uncovered evidence of forced labor, retained salaries, confiscated passports and restricted access to free drinking water in the desert heat.
According to The Guardian, "the government commissioned an investigation by the international law firm DLA Piper and promised to implement recommendations listed in a report published in May. But human rights organizations have accused Qatar of dragging its feet on the modest reforms, saying not enough is being done to investigate the effect of working long hours in temperatures that regularly top 50C."
"Figures sourced separately by the Guardian from Nepalese authorities suggest the total number of Nepalese worked who died between January and mid-November of 2014 could be as high as 188," Owen Gibson and Pete Pattisson report. "In 2013, the figure from January to mid-November was 168."
"We believe that the people helping us build our country deserve to be fairly paid, humanely treated and protected against exploitation," said Qatar's Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Abdullah Saleh Al Khulaifi in a November statement. "We fully appreciate there is much more to do but, as in every country in the world, change does not happen overnight. Significant changes such as these take more time to implement than some may wish, but we intend to effect meaningful and lasting change for the benefit of all those who live and work in Qatar."
Editors Note: Mar. 2, 2015
An earlier version of this article failed to cite a passage from The Guardian in accordance with Mic editorial standards. The article has been updated to properly attribute the language to The Guardian.