31 October 2019

 

Predictions

  • Measures abolishing Kafala system will likely be ratified in coming months as Doha looks to boost international image ahead of 2022 World Cup
  • Government will pursue reforms including considering Shura Council elections in effort to attract…
  • Ongoing poor working conditions despite Kafala reforms will ensure…

 

Analysis

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) announced on 16 October that Doha had agreed to abolish its ‘Kafala’ labour system including so-called ‘exit permits’ for migrant workers by January 2020 and implement a ‘non-discriminatory’ minimum wage, the first of its kind in the region. A statement by the ILO said the initial agreement had been reached with Doha’s ruling council of ministers and the proposals would now be considered by the Shura Council before ratification by Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

The Kafala system, which is well established throughout the Gulf region, applies to all non-skilled migrant workers seeking employment in Qatar, requiring them to seek sponsorship from their employer before being granted a visa. It has, however, faced…

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