Rate of Indian deaths in Qatar rises again

At least 277 Indians died in Qatar this year, including more than one death per day in December, according to embassy statistics
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 31 Dec 2014 01:51 PM

At least 277 Indians died in Qatar this year, with more than one death per day so far in December, the Indian embassy in Doha has reportedly revealed.

The number of deaths is more than the 241 recorded last year and 237 in 2012, The Peninsula reported, citing embassy statistics.

There were also more than 3850 complaints relating to labour and welfare issues recorded during 2014, compared to 3558 the year before.

The number of deaths among working class expatriates in Qatar has been highlighted by international human rights and union groups, who claim the country’s employers, particularly on construction sites, are failing to properly protect workers, particularly related to projects for the 2022 World Cup.

The Nepalese embassy in Doha also revealed earlier this year that 191 Nepali deaths were recorded in 2013, saying many of them were from "unnatural" heart failure, compared with 169 the year before.

Football world governing body FIFA has requested a report from Qatar World Cup officials detailing how it had improved safety standards.

In a report presented to the European Parliament in February, the Qatar World Cup organising committee insisted it was making "tangible progress" toward reform and the Emir has announced numerous legislative changes to improve safety standards on construction sites.

The head of the Qatar National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) in February said the rate of fatalities among Indian workers in the country in the previous two years was “normal”.

Chairman of the government-linked NHRC, Ali bin Sumaikh Al Marri, said half-a-million Indians lived in Qatar, working mainly on construction sites, and their deaths were comparable to the natural deaths of locals.

"Indians make up the largest community in Qatar... twice the number of Qatari nationals,” he was quoted as telling global news agency AFP.

"If we look at the numbers of Qataris who died... of natural causes... over the past two years, we see that numbers of deaths among the Indian community are normal."

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