Qatari Migrant Workers Deaths

According to the Qatari official in charge of organising the 2022 World Cup, “between 400 and 500” migrant workers have perished while working on World Cup-related projects. The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy’s secretary general, Hassan al-Thawadi, admitted as much in an interview, but added that an exact number of casualties was still “being negotiated.” Thawadi stated to the television programme Piers Morgan Uncensored, “The guess is around 400.” “In the 400 to 500 range. I am not certain of the exact figure; it is under discussion.

“One death is too many, it’s as simple as that. [But] every year the health and safety standards on the sites are improving, at least on our sites, the World Cup sites, the ones we are responsible for. Most definitely to the extent that you have trade unions [commending] the work that has been done on World Cup sites and the improvement.”

Thawadi’s remarks drew criticism after the interview, as Nicholas McGeehan of the advocacy group Fair Square noted: “This is simply the latest example of Qatar’s deplorable lack of transparency on the issues of worker deaths.” He added that  Instead of imprecise figures released through media interviews, there was a need for accurate data and rigorous investigations. 

He said that numerous questions remain for Fifa and Qatar to answer, in particular how much compensation has been paid to families and where, when, and how the men died.

The Supreme Committee has consistently stated that since the World Cup’s stadium construction got under way in 2014, there have only been three migrant workers fatalities at work and 37 non-work-related ones.