As I read a link on The Guardian today, the investigation into the enslavement and deaths of Nepalese migrant workers in Qatar blew my mind: 44 Nepalese workers died this summer at the rate of almost one per day (between 4th June and 8th August)! So far this year, the death toll has surpassed 70+ and if unchecked, the number could rise above 4,000 by the start of FIFA's 2022 World Cup! Yes, all this pain came in the form of building soccer stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup - An event that's supposed to bring to light sportsmanship, fair-play and harmony amongst all nations...What a farce!!
I urge the Government of Qatar, Government of Nepal and FIFA (World Cup's Governing Body):
1. To ensure humane working conditions to all migrant workers in Qatar. Hailing from the temperate Himalayas, Nepalese migrant workers face a high probability of developing complications toward the 100+ degree Fahrenheit desert heat they work in (often for 12+ hours/day non stop).
2. To allow migrant workers to leave their jobs at will as in any other developed nation.
3. To pay migrant workers a fair and "liveable" wage.
4. To provide safe working conditions on construction sites. The authorities seem to have little regard for safety measures where workplace accidents are rampant.
5. Not to withhold migrant workers' paychecks - These people are not slaves, so pay them "on time" for the work performed.
6. Not to confiscate passports of migrant workers to prevent them from leaving their jobs.
7. To severely fine and punish all businesses who fail to comply with the basic requirements above.
If the atrocities above still continue and more workers lose their lives, then FIFA needs to move it's venue for the 2022 World Cup to another nation that has better labor standards that comply with basic international laws.
I ASK YOU ALL TO HELP PROVIDE A VOICE TO THESE MIGRANT WORKERS WHO CLEARLY HAVE BEEN DUPED INTO WORKING IN INHUMANE CONDITIONS THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY FROM HOME. WITH YOUR PETITION AND SUPPORT WE COULD SEE A CHANGE IN THIS ATROCITY. LET'S GET EVERY GOVERNING BODY INVOLVED IN THIS (UN, Human Rights Commission, Govt. of Qatar, Govt. of Nepal and FIFA's Governing body).
An excerpt from The Guardian today (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/revealed-qatars-world-cup-slaves):
"This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks. The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022
According to documents obtained from the Nepalese embassy in Doha, at least 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August. More than half died of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents.
The investigation also reveals:
•Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.
• Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.
• Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.
• Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.
• About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.
The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world's most popular sporting tournament."
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