Perhaps you have heard about that dramatic figure released by The Guardian in February 2021: according to the British newspaper, 6 500 people would have died in Qatar since the beginning of the construction works for the 2022 football world cup. If that figure must be taken with a pinch of salt, the fact is that a lot of foreign workers suffered awful working conditions in a country that is ready to anything to show the world how powerful they can be. Progress has been made because people and journalists are doing their job, but this is still not enough.
Workers who do their best in Qatar to ensure that everything will be ready on time are coming from South-East Asia and Africa for most of them (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Kenya to name a few). Working on construction sites to set up hotels, roads or stadiums, their working conditions are far from being acceptable: working under the heavy heat, getting accommodated in squalid apartments, getting low wages and identity papers issues, everyone already saw some pictures or reports on the news that draw a terrible picture of the situation there. It is a secret for nobody: human rights are not a priority in this little country of Middle East. Global warming as well, but this is another issue.
The controversy is swelling up because a worldwide event is about to take place in Qatar in a few days, and this is a good thing to point out what is not working there. What is going to happen once the football show is over and everyone goes back home still? Are we going to move on another subject like the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and how not safe Paris has become for locals and tourists? Are we going to adapt our mind according to the latest news?
This is not because the media does not talk about something that it becomes less important. Politicians, lobbies and non-governmental organizations should not ride the wave, they should keep on compelling Qatar to act right with foreign people even when the world cup is done.