VIDEO: Migrants share fears about working in Qatar

“We eat, we drink – whether or not we get up the next day is the fear.”

Over the past few weeks, the controversy over Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup has grown increasingly political, as charges of racism, corruption and hidden agendas make the rounds.

Those politics are kept to a minimum in this recently released 17-minute video, produced by an ESPN affiliate, about a different topic related to the World Cup: workers’ rights.

With several infrastructure projects afoot before 2022, Qatar has grown increasingly dependent on foreign labor to meet its deadlines.


Much has been said about the dismal living and working conditions of these constructions workers. Here, some of them – and their relatives overseas – are able to speak for themselves about their experiences in Qatar, sharing their fears about being trapped somewhere far from home.

Not unaware of problems with its current kafala sponsorship system, Qatar has recently been mulling legislation changes that would ideally make it easier for expats here to change jobs and leave the country.

But when these changes will be implemented, and how they will affect the majority of people who live here, remains to be seen.

The above E:360 video was posted last month but traffic spiked this week after it was picked up by Upworthy. It has so far been viewed more than 150,000 times worldwide, spurring myriad reactions that range from horror to dismay to impatience. What do you think of it?


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