As the number of Nepalis who die in Qatar continues to rise, a former ambassador who was stationed here for five years has begun speaking out against the treatment of his compatriots.
In an interview with CNN this week, Suryanath Mishra, Nepal’s ambassador to Qatar from 2007 to 2012, said that because many Nepalis here lack education and technical skills, they are amongst the country’s most exploited labor groups.
“Nepali migrant workers have the lowest per capita income in Qatar,” he told the channel, adding that some 55 percent of Nepali migrant workers deaths here are the result of “sudden” cardiac arrest, 20 percent are from work-related accidents, 15 percent from traffic accidents and 10 percent are suicides.
“The cause of deaths needs to be investigated properly, and urgently,” he said. “In general, it is due to tension led by exploitation, adverse climate, poor working and living conditions and alcoholic intoxication.”
There are about 400,000 Nepalis working in Qatar, according to embassy officials.
CNN cites Nepal government figures as stating that that more than 290 workers have died here in the last 420 days.
But autopsies are rarely conducted on workers in Qatar, which make determining the precise cause of death difficult.
Pay hikes urged
After Mishra’s term, Dr. Maya Kumari Sharma served as ambassador to Doha. But she was recalled by the Nepali government less than halfway into her term in 2013, and no new ambassador has been named.
Mishra’s comments come weeks after officials in Nepal formally asked Qatar to review the salaries of nationals here and set a minimum wage.
In January, Suresh Man Shrestha, secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Labor and Employment, said authorities had not yet agreed to the idea, which was also raised in 2013.
A migrant worker’s journey ends with a coffin, and mourning – CNN.com
At that time, the Nepal embassy in Qatar told Doha News that it was asking that the minimum wage for its nationals be raised from QR800 (US$220) – which includes a monthly food allowance – to a total of QR1,200 ($330).
It’s not immediately clear what became of that proposal.
Speaking to Doha News last fall, a manager of one local manpower agency said that the standard monthly salary for Nepalese laborers was QR900 ($247). But skilled workers can make up to QR1,200 a month, he added.
Many Nepalis flock to Qatar to earn money for their families back home. CNN interviewed relatives of a recently deceased man upon his body’s return to his village in Dhanusha district.
Kishun Das left Nepal for Qatar eight months ago, to help support his five children and extended family members. The 38-year old’s cause of death was not known to his relatives.
The way these poor people are treated makes me sick to my stomach… The only way for all this to stop is if the Nepali government forbids its nationals to work in the Gulf and puts an end to recruitment agencies on its own territory.
First they need to have a control over the manpower agencies in Nepal who are ons of the main causes of the exploitation
did it ever occur to you that their government officials are on the take from the Arabs?
How terrible. Thought that things would have been better by now but they just seem to be going from bad to worse
A little empathy goes a long way. Sad.
This is desperately sad. No autopsy. No cause of death given to the family. How can this be allowed to happen? The poor man comes here to provide for his family and goes home in a box. And for a monthly wage that many people here would spend on a meal for two. It makes me feel ashamed.
I thought they had silenced her when she was removed from Doha and the Nepali government Apologised to Qatar saying all Nepalese were happy here and the probelms were grossly exaggerated.
Good to see someone is prepared to stick their neck out for their fellow nationals, which is not the case for many diplomatic staff in the gulf.
MIMH – How dare you besmirch diplomatic staff??? All consuls are dedicated to the citizens they represent!
BTW – I have good Unicorns for sale – very cheap!
This is very sad to accept that modern slavery still exists in the world, and it’s more sad to know that it exists in a Muslim country in which they should know better that this is completely wrong in Islam. …but what can be expected of corrupted and evil people who are only religious by name but have no mercy towards others and no fear of God’s punishment.
completely wrong in Islam???
The founder of the religion himself was a rap.ist paedo who went around the place pillaging, enslaving and murdering non believers…why do you think hs brainwashed believers who have not revised the kor.an one bit since then will do any different?
I’m sorry Jimmy but you have learned misguided and false information about Islam and the messenger of Islam. When the message of Islam came to the people of Arabia why do you think so many slaves converted to Islam? Because Islam teaches that no Arab is superior to a non -Arab and no non-Arab is superior to an Arab. ..Inot God’s eyes no race or status of a person is superior to anyone except in good deeds. Research about the first woman to die for Islam her name was Sumaya ( she was murdered and tortured for becoming Muslim ) and she was a black slave who was freed by the Muslims . Also research about Bilal, another famous black slave who was also murdered and tortured for becoming Muslim and he was the first Muadhin (the one who makes the call for prayer aloud ) he had a loud and beautiful voice this is why he was appointed to make the adhan for everyone to hear. The Quran talks about slavery of that time in history and how much God loves and rewards those who free a slave and how they are no less than those who are free. It only distinguishes between good and bad character and those who do good actions and believe in their creator and those who cause corruption and do not believe in God and his messengers. The truth is that no religion has forced slavery upon anyone, it’s sadly the truth humans have always descriminated and enslaved those who are poor and have darker skin. In the USA, slavery was first abolished in 1864 that was more than 1,000 years after Islam. And how many more years after the bible? Even after slavery was abolished how many years passed until blacks were considered equal to whites? And they still struggle and suffer until today. I see the discrimination and prejudice in Qatar similar to other places in the world. …nothing coming from religion but rather from lust for money and power and selfish black hearts people have.
I am not going to listen to the brainwashed version of a cannon fodder like you; instead I will look to the koran and hadith for my information.
I think you are the one who was brainwashed and have learned misguided and false information about Islam and the messenger of Islam. I Have read the koran and hadith thou I am agnostic!
Many slaves converted to Islam because they were forced to do so and did not want to risk death?
Islam was (and is still) fond of slavery and forced conversion. It is well documented in the koran and hadith. Everyone apparently was the same in the eyes of allah as long as you converted to islam and was not subject to apostasy.
The founder had intercourse and a relationship with a 9 year old girl called Aisha. He also encouraged the ra.pe of captured female prisoners as long as they are non-muslim.
The koran and hadith have over 100 verses calling for the jihad, ra.pe and killing of unbelievers if they refuse to convert.
Well done DN for reporting this.
If seen many are dieing and nothing is been done , we see high ranking officalls saying we have visted labour camps all looks fine . i dont think they ever had visted or if visted also been blinded by money .
Things can only change if govt thinks and consider a those labours as human being like them irespective of his country from , his skim colour , from which country he is from . Untill this does not happend nothing will happen no matter how many human rights commisons come and go . I know its kind a rejected feel but this is what i feel in current times
Indians, Chinese and other Asians have produced too many people to the point human life no longer has any sort of value there, Asians are cheap as chips…why else will they have so many dependants and families and mouths to feed – of course the Arabs (of all people) will see room for exploitation!