The International Labour Organization (ILO), in a report released Friday, has said that Qatar is not adequately investigating and reporting worker deaths and injuries. The report comes amid heightened scrutiny of work-related deaths in construction projects connected to Qatar’s role as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The report shows that during these projects, 50 workers have died, more than 500 were severely injured, and another 37,600 sustained mild to moderate injuries. Migrant workers from the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal are the primary victims. The top causes for severe injuries were falls from heights, traffic accidents, and falling objects. The report is based on the findings of various institutions that collect data on occupational injuries and provide medical care for injured workers.
The report puts forward a concrete set of recommendations for more accurate data collection and improved investigative efforts. It also recommends setting up an integrated national platform for providing timely and reliable occupational injury data for compensating affected workers and families. Additionally, they hope to develop a comprehensive approach to accurately identify and investigate deaths and injuries that may be occupational but are currently not categorized as such due to the lack of uniformity in how ministries record these incidents. Such a reform in the system is essential for investigating the deaths of seemingly healthy young workers from “natural causes” to determine whether they are work-related instead. The report also suggests that independent medical institutions and labor inspectors should be the ones to carry out these investigations.
Qatar, which has enacted a slew of labor welfare legislations in recent years, acknowledged that there is more work to be done and expressed its commitment to working with the ILO to implement these recommendations.