By: Arron Williams
November 24 2022
15,000 non-Qataris died between 2010 and 2019 but reports state that only 37 of these deaths may be related to the World Cup.
A false claim alleging that 15,000 non-Qatari workers died during the construction of the 2022 World Cup stadium has resurfaced online. This claim first appeared in 2021, when an Amnesty International report stated that 15,021 non-Qataris died between 2010 and 2019. Social media users and news outlets erroneously linked these deaths to the construction of the World Cup stadium, which also began in 2010.
While it is true that 15,000 non-Qatari workers died between 2010 and 2019, there is no evidence this figure represents the deaths of those working on the stadium.
The 2021 Amnesty publication reported that the figure of 15,021 deaths is based on official Qatari statistics. The report noted inadequate investigations mean that the causes of the deaths are unexplained but founds links to heat exposure and excessive, strenuous working hours. However, in reference to deaths attributed to World Cup projects, the report states, "The government data also does not indicate how many workers have died in preparation for the World Cup. Qatar's Supreme Committee on Delivery and Legacy says that 35 workers on World Cup projects they oversee have died since 2015, but there is no estimate of how many workers have died on other infrastructure projects linked to the delivery of the tournament."
As outlined by the report, the figure of deaths does not equate to the number of migrant workers that died due to working conditions because it includes people of all ages, occupations, and causes. The occupations of those who died varied and included jobs such as airport workers and truckers.
Similar claims were made based on A 2021 Guardian article discussing 6,500 migrant deaths in Qatar. However, the article discusses deaths among workers from south Asian nations specifically and does not claim that they are related to the World Cup stadiums. The article adds that 37 worker deaths were directly linked to World Cup construction, although 34 deaths were flagged as non-work related. Some experts questioned this due to some of the deaths occurring on stadium sites.
On their website, The Qatari Government responded to the Guardian's report by stating that the 6,500 deaths are in the expected range and that the mortality rate has been in steady decline over the last decade.
A 2019 report from Priya Dsouza Communications found that Non-Qataris make up the majority of the country's population. According to the report's statistics, which were gained from embassies or sources attributed to government officials, Qataris make up about 10 percent of the population. Therefore, the death rate of 15,000 over nine years is relatively low. However, this does not suggest that poor working conditions for migrant workers are non-existent in Qatar. The Amnesty International article calls for Qatar to strengthen laws to protect workers from extreme heat and to improve its investigation, certification, and compensation for worker death.
Logically fact-checked this same claim last year and found it partly true; however, it stated that the claim lacked context. This check also discussed the Amnesty Report.
Although 15,000 non-Qataris indeed died between 2010-2019, there is no evidence the majority died working on the 2022 World Cup stadiums or other sites. While the exact figure remains unclear, we have marked the claim as misleading.