I think it would be fair to say that things have escalated pretty quickly since The Guardian news article revealed the hidden story of the Nepali migrant workers in Qatar. Facing no job prospects in Nepal and desperate to find employment abroad, over 1000 Nepalis leave Tribhuvan International Airport every day for various destinations across the world. Qatar is just one of the countries that is home to a growing pool of Nepali labour, estimated 400,000 workers. Unfortunately, the recent Guardian news article confirmed that 44 workers died between 4 June and 8 August with more than half dying of heart attacks, heart failure and workplace accidents. The revelation of the deaths, inhumane conditions and evidence of forced labour has led many to dub the treatment of the Nepali migrant labourers to modern day slavery.
The news article has been covered and been a focus of attention for global media including BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera. This has also resulted in protests by Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) and Swiss union UNIA outside the headquarter’s of soccer’s governing body FIFA on Thursday October 3 in Zurich. The two-day meeting of the FIFA executives was held to debate whether FIFA should move the event (World Cup 2022) from June-July period as well as the situation of migrant workers who will be working on World Cup construction sites.
A peaceful protest will be held outside the Qatar Embassy in London on Saturday October 12th from 1200 – 1400 hours. The protest initiated by Rosan Sapkota, Ojesh Singh, Shreya Paudel and Astha Paudel is being held to demand the Government of Qatar to acknowledge the reports, have routine investigations on the companies and their treatment of workers and ultimately, improve the working conditions as humanly as possible.
To support this cause, the team and I would like to invite everyone to give voice to the modern day voiceless.
I am aware of the various other articles that have been published since the Guardian news revelation and I fully believe that the Government of Nepal also has a responsibility in this, in managing the manpower agencies in Nepal and our Nepali brothers and sisters working at such agencies in Kathmandu and outside. If you are not able to join the protest in London or San Francisco on October 13th then please sign the petitions below.
Confirm your attendance on Facebook – London Event Link.
Read More: Raped, Impregnated and Imprisoned: Qatar’s Forgotten Workers Nepali Teacher Jailed in Qatar for “Insulting Islam”