The most serious, unaddressed harms that have also disproportionately impacted Nepalis over the last decade are deaths of workers. Under Qatari Labour Law, families of workers who die because of work, or workers who sustain work injuries resulting in partial or complete permanent disability from work injuries, are entitled to compensation from their employers. However, deaths and disabilities not considered work-related are not compensated.
But a large majority of deaths of Nepalis in Qatar are attributed to unexplained causes and as Nepali Times has previously reported: “Died in his sleep’ (सुत्दा सुत्दै मर्यो) has become a colloquial Nepali term and the fatalities were attributed to ‘natural causes’. Mostly, there was nothing natural about them – they were a result of overwork, heat stroke and official apathy.’
But Qatar’s Labour Minister Al Marri in the same interview questioned: “Where are the victims, do you have names of the victims, how can you get these numbers?”
HRW insists that data on migrant worker deaths exist, showcasing the repatriation process of a dead body from Qatar to Nepal that required complex documentation including power of attorney or consent from the legal heir, a death certificate, a police report, a medical report, an airway bill, an embalming certificate and a no objection certificate.
In addition, records also exist with the Nepal government that provide support to families from the Migrant Welfare Fund to deliver bodies workers with valid permits from Kathmandu airport to their homes. Nepal therefore has records on migrant worker abuses that can be leveraged if FIFA or Qataris were serious about compensation.