According to a new research by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a review of migrant laborer deaths in Qatar revealed gaps in the country’s data collection and variations in the way work-related occurrences are classified.
The ILO stated that it worked with major Qatari institutions to compile an in-depth review of work-related injuries and deaths in 2020, but that it found flaws in the way incidents were reported.
“As a result, it is still not possible to present a categorical figure on the number of fatal occupational injuries in the country,” the report said, calling for changes to the way data is obtained and investigations are carried out.
According to the ILO study, at least 50 employees died in Qatar last year, with more than 500 badly injured and 37,600 suffering mild to moderate injuries, One is Too Many (PDF), said.
The most of employees who sustained occupational injuries, according to the ILO, were from Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.
“Falls from height and road traffic accidents were the top causes of severe injuries, followed by falling objects on worksites,” it added.
Qatar’s Ministry of Labour welcomed the ILO report and said it was studying its suggestions, according to a statement released later on Friday.
“No other country has come so far on labour reform in such a short amount of time, but we acknowledge that there is more work to be done,” the ministry’s statement added, noting that Qatar will continue working with the ILO to ensure the changes “are implemented effectively”.
“As Qatar has continuously stated and as the ILO report confirms, figures reported in media on migrant worker fatalities have been wildly misleading. The government has been transparent about the health of our foreign population, and in reality, levels of mortality in Qatar are on par with wider demographics globally. Still, improving the health and well-being of foreign workers remains a top priority,” the Ministry of Labour statement said.
Working conditions for migrant workers in Qatar have been a topic of discussion since the Gulf state was awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup in 2010.