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Qatar Cares About Migrant Workers, Official Says
Foreign workers are shown in May 2015 walking to their living quarters from the construction site of Doha’s al-Wakrah Stadium, being built for the 2022 World Cup, to be hosted by Qatar. (Marwan Naamani/AFP via Getty Images)

Qatar Cares About Migrant Workers, Official Says

Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and the man overseeing preparations for the 2022 World Cup, insisted on Wednesday that his country had made large strides in improving labor conditions for the thousands of migrant workers toiling over massive construction projects ahead of the global tournament. “[E]verybody … contributing to the development of Qatar is treated with dignity. Their health and safety are of the utmost concern to us,” the committee head said, while admitting that more “progress needs to be made.” Doha has come under harsh criticism for its treatment of employees, after a reported 6,500 laborers lost their lives in the numerous infrastructure and renovation projects since the Gulf state secured hosting rights in 2010. That figure has not been disputed by Qatar. Al Thawadi mentioned a minimum wage increase to $275 a month and other employment reforms as crucial steps taken toward caring for workers. The country is expected to rake in about $20 billion from the much-anticipated international event.

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