Qatar’s migrant staff cautious of life after the World Cup


Rasheed celebrated Argentina’s World Cup win singing and dancing with dozens of different South Asian staff with a double landmark on his thoughts. Sunday was additionally International Migrants Day.

“Messi, Messi Messi,” they chanted in a nook of Souq Waqif, the central market within the Qatari capital Doha the place hordes of overseas followers have gathered all through the World Cup.

“At first they laughed at us as ‘fake fans’ but I think they have come to accept us now,” stated Rasheed, who wore a t-shirt with the phrase “rights” written throughout the entrance. He couldn’t give his full identify out of fear of motion by his Qatari employers.

Workers from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka helped construct lots of Qatar’s eight stadiums, and to fill them for the matches. India was one of many prime ticket-buying nations.

But picture portraits of the employees who constructed the Lusail stadium the place Sunday’s remaining was held had been taken down from its partitions simply earlier than the event began. Few of the 88,000 individuals inside had been from South Asia.

“It is very rare that we can come out and celebrate like this,” stated Shafiq, from the Indian state of Kerala, who celebrated whereas carrying an Argentina shirt.

“Normally we all stay in the worker zones. We all wonder what will happen after the World Cup.”

– Reform ‘dedication’ –

Labour rights have been a scorching subject for Qatar, nearly because it was awarded the World Cup 12 years in the past.

Rights teams say the demise toll on Qatar’s mega-projects has been under-reported and condemned the situations endured by migrants who make up greater than 80 % of the two.9 million inhabitants.

Even a few of the Gulf state’s closest allies have sought reassurances that current reforms will keep in place.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador on the United Nations who led President Joe Biden’s delegation on the World Cup remaining, raised the subject in a gathering Sunday with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Greenfield highlighted the significance of the US-Qatar “strategic partnership” but in addition “encouraged Qatar to demonstrate its commitment to labour reforms and human rights beyond the World Cup,” stated a US assertion.

Other ministers who’ve visited in the course of the World Cup say they’ve given an analogous message.

Qatar, which has additionally confronted strain over situations for ladies and the LGBTQ neighborhood, has pointed to adjustments over the previous 5 years.

It says {that a} minimal wage, ending a draconian labour regulation system and proscribing work time in searing summer season temperatures have made Qatar a frontrunner within the Gulf area.

Labour Minister Ali bin Samikh Al Marri has insisted Qatar will keep on with the reform path.

Rights teams have known as for a particular fund to compensate staff who died on Qatar’s monumental constructing tasks.

The authorities says a fund for stolen and misplaced wages has already paid out greater than $350 million and may compensate for accidents and deaths.

FIFA has promised to present particulars quickly of a legacy fund for this World Cup that it says will assist staff in different nations. It allotted $100 million to a fund after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

No official occasions had been held for the UN day for migrants nevertheless and rights teams have doubts concerning the future.

“This World Cup in Qatar will indeed be remembered for all the wrong reasons: as the most expensive sporting event ever – and the most deadly,” stated Minky Worden of Human Rights Watch.