Ten photos that reveal the pain of migrant workers
Lila Acharya left Nepal for a job in Lebanon in 2010. Two months later her body was flown home to Kathmandu’s airport in a coffin, where her distraught relatives came to collect it.
Padam Shrestha was severely burned in an explosion at a petrol station in Doha where he worked. He said he had received no compensation.
Ganesh BK died in Qatar, just weeks after he left his home in Dang. “I don’t know how I am going to pay back the loan we took out to pay for my son’s job. It is on my mind the whole time. I know the lender won’t spare me,” said Ganesh’s father, Tilak Bahadur BK. “I don’t ever want to hear the name of Qatar again.”
Ganesh BK arrived in a coffin. On average, about 3 to 4 coffins carrying the bodies of migrant workers arrive each day.
Dalli Khatri and her husband Lil Man, hold photos of their sons, both of whom died while working as migrants in Malaysia and Qatar. Their younger son (foreground photo) died in Qatar from a heart attack, aged 20.
Gyanu Reshmi Magar, photographed in Kathmandu, was trafficked to Syria to work as a domestic maid. She thought she was going to Dubai, but ended up in Syria after an agent assured her it was just like America. She eventially managed to escape after finding help via Facebook.
Qatar’s capital, Doha. Qatar’s labor force has increased by nearly 33 percent between 2011 and 2015, almost entirely due to the arrival of migrant workers. There are 1.6 million migrant workers in the country, comprising 94 percent of Qatar’s workforce.
The condition of migrant workers’ accommodation has attracted much criticism in Qatar. While some new camps have now been built, the majority of workers still live in poor quality accommodation.
Migrants often work a long way from their labor camps, and the travel to and from the camps can add hours to their working day.
Much of the criticism of Qatar’s treatment of migrant worker deaths has focused on the number of laborers dying in the emirate.