This week, a story on the BBC website entitled ‘Worker died in fall at ‘lethal’ Qatar World Cup Stadium’ caught my attention. The story originally caught my eye as I noticed it in the Sussex local news section of the site. Unfortunately the vicitim of the incident was local to nearby Hove.
The story was about how Zachary Cox, a migrant working on the new world cup stadium in Qatar, fell to his death. The accident occured after Mr Cox was given a faulty hoist, which broke while he was working. The coronor announced that his management would have or should have known that the equiptment he was given would be risking his life. This means that this is a blatant human rights violation, obviously violating article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
The part of this story which makes me curious is who would be decided at fault here by law. Obviously, despite this being a failure of a business, only states can commit human rights violations. So would this be the fault of the Qatarian state, the state in which this terrible event happened? Or would it be the fault of the South African government, as he was working for a South African subcontractor? Or would it be the fault of the German government, seeing as the subcontractor was working for a German firm? This is such an internationally interlaced issue, I am intrigued to discover what the outcome of this tragic accident is. Who will be prosecuted?
I realised through reading about this story that I have been somewhat aware of this sort of tragic accident being fairly common place in states such as Qatar. I vaguely remember hearing in the past of horrendous working conditions and workers dying while building being fairly common place. I’ve always wondered why anyone would travel to Qatar to work there, if working conditions are known to be so dangerous. I ended up finding this article from 2015.
Something I am shocked to learn is the need for an exit visa to leave Qatar. I can’t comprehend how it’s legal to be forced to stay in a country, one that you are not a resident of, until the Qatarian governement deem it time for you to leave. Secondly, the amount of deaths, although I’m sure have grown massively in the three years since this article was published, is outrageous. The more I delve into human rights issues, the more I am shocked that these things aren’t reported on more often. There is so much injustice in the world today, and until we come together to work on issues concerning governance gaps, the problems are just going to grow and continue.