New law ends Qatar’s exploitative kafala system

The move is lauded a step toward better labour rights in the country.

Qatar has ended the kafala system, a sponsorship system under which workers are not allowed to change job without their employers’ permission, making the workers vulnerable to exploitation and forced labor.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) said that the new law “effectively dismantles the ‘kafala’ sponsorship system and marks the beginning of a new era for the Qatari labour market.”

The kafala system and Qatar’s treatment of its 2 million migrant workforce has been under scrutiny since the country won its right to host the 2022 World Cup. The government then parntered with the ILO to reform its labour system in 2017.

“By introducing these significant changes, Qatar has delivered on a commitment, one that will give workers more freedom and protection, and employers more choice,” said Guy Ryder, the director general of the ILO.

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