‘No one should suffer like me’: families of Qatar’s dead migrant workers left with nothing

Qatar is a magnet for south Asian labour, but failure to investigate deaths leaves dependents without compensation

It is hard to imagine a place more different to Qatar than the southern plains of Nepal.

Miles of fields covered in dazzling yellow mustard flowers are dotted with small villages. Cows and goats sit in front of houses mostly made of woven strips of bamboo and mud. Clothes are washed by hand, water pumped by foot and rice husks sifted by the wind.

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Up to 10,000 Asian migrant workers die in the Gulf every year, claims report

Campaigners say not enough is being done to prevent loss of life and the causes of death are not being properly investigated

As many as 10,000 migrant workers from south and south-east Asia die every year in the Gulf countries, according to a report by a group of human rights organisations.

More than half of the deaths are unexplained, said the report, and are commonly recorded as due to “natural causes” or “cardiac arrest”. But Gulf states are failing properly to investigate why so many migrant workers are dying.

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‘It’s as if there’s no Covid’: Nepal defies pandemic amid a broken economy

Cases appear low and sports venues are packed, but protests are on the rise as jobs are lost and personal debt soars

Traffic jams and soaring pollution levels are back. Political leaders are organising mass rallies, far more focused on fighting each other than any virus. If poorer Nepalis are struggling with the dire economic fallout from Covid-19, on the surface, at least, it appears daily life in the capital, Kathmandu, is back to normal.

“It’s as if nothing has happened. The nightclubs are crowded. Schools and colleges are reopening. Sports venues are full. It doesn’t seem like there is any Covid,” says Sameer Mani Dixit, a public health specialist. “It defies logic.”

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‘Back empty-handed’: Bangladeshis cut off from jobs abroad face rising poverty

Whole communities supported by overseas work are at risk of extreme poverty after the pandemic forced thousands home

When the pandemic forced Firoza Begum back to Bangladesh after six months trapped in her employer’s house without pay, her husband was so angry she had returned empty-handed that he would not let her move back in to the family home.

All her savings after 14 years working in the Middle East had been spent escaping her abusive employer.

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