Qatar rejects Amnesty report on ‘unexplained’ labourer deaths

Qatar rejects Amnesty report on ‘unexplained’ labourer deaths

Amnesty International calls on Qatar to do more to investigate worker deaths, alleging that a string of labourer fatalities had gone unexplained.

Qatar has rejected an Amnesty International report in which the rights organization urges the 2022 World Cup host to do more to investigate worker deaths, alleging a spate of unsolved worker deaths.

Amnesty accuses Qatari authorities of failing to investigate migrant worker deaths, despite “evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions,” according to the study, which was released on Thursday.
The report, In the Prime of their Lives (PDF), states that “Qatar routinely issues death certificates for migrant workers without conducting adequate investigations, instead attributing deaths to ‘natural causes’ or vaguely defined cardiac failures”.

These certifications rule out the possibility of compensation for bereaved families, according to Amnesty.

The rights group highlighted the risks posed to workers by Qatar’s extreme climate, especially when combined with excessive and physically strenuous working hours.

Despite what Amnesty claims, a spokeswoman for Qatar’s Government Communications Office stated in a statement that the country’s “death and injury statistics are in line with international best practice and set new standards for the region.”

“Qatar has made significant progress in managing the effects of heat stress. Qatar introduced legislation in June 2021 to further protect workers from the summer heat, based on a study conducted by research experts FAME Lab and extensive consultations with our international partners.
“The new rules expand the hours during which outdoor work is prohibited, introduce annual health checks for all workers, and require work to immediately stop if the wet-bulb globe temperature rises above a temperature recommended by health experts,” the statement added.

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