Build Magazine July 2015

Build Magazine 23 Inside the Industry Philip Lange / The statement goes on to report that no one has in fact died in the making of the stadium. “In fact, after almost five million work-hours on World Cup construction sites, not a single worker’s life has been lost. Not one.” Subsequently journalists were invited into the country to examine the issues Qatar faces with regards to migrant labour, however in the course of this several members of a BBC crew were arrested. The government issued a subsequent statement in which they argued that the crew was detained for trespassing. “Perhaps anticipating that the Government would not provide this sort of access, the BBC crew decided to do their own site visits and interviews in the days leading up to the planned tour. In doing so, they trespassed on private property, which is against the law in Qatar just as it is in most countries. After an official complaint from the owner, security forces were called and the BBC crew was detained. The crew was brought before a public prosecutor who released them after the completion of the legal procedures. The journalists who took part in the press tour were given an opportunity for a compre- hensive look at the problems Qatar is facing, and the progress the government and the private sector are making to address those problems. They saw some of the labour villages. The BBC was meant to be part of that tour, and would have been if they had not chosen to break Qatari laws.” However, this arrest has led to many being suspicious that the government had something to hide. In addition to this some organisations believe that Qatar has been guilty of abusing their migrant workers for years, which could potentially be a key factor in the alleged construction site deaths. Many of these issues stem from abuses of workers on the site, according to the Amnesty International report ‘Promising Little, Deliv- ering Lies: Qatar and migrant labour abuse ahead of the 2022 football world cup’. The report alleges that employers in the country routinely deny workers exit permits and confiscate their passports to stop them moving to other jobs. Citing a report by the country in 2014 which promised reforms following previous media scrutiny of the treatment of migrant workers. In addition there are numerous allegations that workers are not paid or are paid less than they were told, that they are forced to live in horrific conditions and that they not given contracts or id in order to stop them moving jobs or going to the authorities.