Qatar World Cup chief admits 400-500 migrant workers may be dead

Since construction of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 infrastructure began in 2014, SC’s commitment to ensuring the health, safety and dignity of all workers employed on our projects has remained unwavering.

Our efforts have resulted in significant improvements in accommodation standards, health and safety regulations, grievance mechanisms, provision of health care and reimbursement of illegal recruitment fees to workers.

Evidence of the organization’s progress is publicly available here in a series of annual reports.

As the journey continues, we are committed to delivering the legacy we promised. A legacy that improves lives and lays the foundation for just, lasting and lasting labor reforms.

In line with this commitment, the SC has implemented health and safety standards that are equal to, or even better than, many construction projects in Europe and North America – a fact that the global union

The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) recognizes and has publicly attested here.

In 2014, SC launched the Worker Welfare Standards (WWS), which are mandatory standards for contractors working on SC projects and require contractors to ensure contractor compliance.

Our due diligence begins at the tender stage, and since 2016, 25% of contractors have failed pre-tender inspections. Following a peak construction workforce of 30,000 workers, our workers

The welfare standards now cover over 150,000 workers on World Cup-related tournament service projects and over 40,000 hospitality workers.

Despite our commitment to our rigorous standards, it is sadly true that (as elsewhere in the world) work-related injuries and fatalities still occur on our projects.

Sadly, the SC suffered three work-related deaths and 37 non-work-related deaths. From the start, we have been transparent about work-related fatalities and non-work-related fatalities on our projects, with all incidents recorded in our annual reports.

Our commitment to public disclosure of non-work related deaths goes beyond the requirements of the UK Health and Safety Executive Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) which the SC has adopted as a benchmark. RIDDOR defines and provides classification on how to document work-related and non-work-related incidents.

The SC investigates all non-work-related fatalities and work-related fatalities in accordance with our incident investigation procedure to identify contributing factors and establish how they could have been prevented. This process involves collecting and analyzing evidence and interviewing witnesses to establish the facts of the incident.

This is a standard SC procedure that goes further than required, where the legal responsibility to investigate the underlying causes of death in the case of non-work related deaths rests with the relevant local authorities.

The SC has remained true to its commitment to use the World Cup to bring lasting social change to our workers, to improve their working and living conditions.

What follows is a testament to the legacy we continue to build through this tournament. Access to redress: The SC’s three-tier grievance mechanism gives workers a voice and ensures greater representation. We created the first worker welfare forums in Qatar, allowing workers to elect a representative to raise grievances on their behalf, without any fear of reprisal.

More than 113 forums were organised, covering SC and non-SC workers. Our forums also informed the creation of Joint Committees in Qatar in 2019, which encourage communication between employees and employers to bring together representatives of management and facility workers for regular communication on workplace issues. .

Summer working hours legislation: CS also participated in a study on heat stress, commissioned by the ILO and the Ministry of Labour, which resulted in a ministerial decision to extend the ban on working in workplaces open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., starting June 1. September 15 of each year.

This new legislation has extended the ban for 6 weeks, providing better protection against heat stress.

Hospitality sector: Our engagement with the hospitality sector has resulted in notable improvements in the areas of ethical recruitment, employment conditions, accommodation and worker representation. Our forums have extended to this sector. Three hotel operators pledged to reimburse QAR 163,670 to 58 hotel employees; while others are in the process of reimbursing staff for pre-mobilization medical expenses.

Complete medical screenings: 42,629 complete medical screenings were carried out, as a preventive measure beyond basic screenings. These screenings ensure that workers are fit for duty before being mobilized to the site and that they receive appropriate care plans in the event of a medical issue. Annual health checks are now mandatory for all workers, and we are entering preliminary discussions with the Department of Labor and other partners regarding a nationwide implementation of the SC comprehensive health screening program, in particular at Qatar visa centers in countries of origin.

Heat Stress Mitigation: SC has designed revolutionary worker cooling suits as part of its heat stress mitigation efforts that keep workers comfortable during the warmer months. We have attracted the interest of local and international companies and pilot projects are underway. Further iterations of this product will be developed to address different industries and applications globally.

Along with strict health and safety standards, our record of transparency goes beyond any construction project in this region, previous FIFA World Cups and many international construction projects.

When companies fail to comply with the WWS – which is the harsh reality of supply chains around the world – our mandate is to step in, demand better and alert the authorities. We implement mandatory due diligence mechanisms to detect non-compliance and ensure strict adherence to the WWS – an incredibly difficult undertaking in an industry plagued by complex supply chains and contractors – many of whom conduct their activities in an exemplary manner, while others unfortunately seek to circumvent the laws and exploit loopholes.

Since 2016, we have carried out more than 10,461 audits and inspections on all of our sites totaling more than 83,482 hours. Additionally, we conducted over 1,845 inspections in sectors other than construction, including the hospitality sector, host country operations and other related projects, representing over 14,620 hours.

We also have a series of enforcement actions, which resulted in the demobilization of 69 contractors, 235 contractors placed on a watch list and seven others were blacklisted. We understand that there is always room for improvement.

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