Kafala System

2 min read

News:Qatar has announced to extend the elimination of Kafala System to all the remaining workers.

Facts:

About Kafala system:

  • The Kafala (Sponsorship) System emerged in the 1950’s to regulate the relationship between employers and migrant workers in many countries in West Asia.
  • The Kafala system requires foreign workers to have an in-country sponsor usually their employer or Kafeel who is responsible for their visa and legal status.
  • The migrant worker cannot enter the country,transfer employment or leave the country for any reason without first obtaining explicit written permission usually from his employer.
  • The system has been practiced in the Gulf Cooperation Council member countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and also in the Arab states of Jordan and Lebanon.
  • However,this practice has been criticised by human rights organizations for creating easy opportunities for the exploitation of workers as many employers take away passports and abuse their workers with little chance of legal repercussions.

Qatar and Kafala system:

  • Qatar has introduced a series of labour reforms since its selection as the 2022 World Cup host.
  • In September 2018, Qatar had approved legislation to scrap the kafala system.
  • Further,Qatar has also introduced a monthly minimum wage of 750 riyals ($206) and agreed to work closely with the ILO, which now has an office in the capital.