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Qatar hoping to change harsh labor law

5 May 2015 8:12

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The Qatari labor minister has expressed “hope” that the Persian Gulf Arab state would abolish its controversial “kafala” system, which has widely been censured as modern-day slavery, amid rising international condemnations.

The shaky pledge by Abdullah bin Saleh al-Khulaifi came on Monday after kafala, long decried by human rights organizations, emerged as a major focus of global criticism since the tiny oil-rich nation was awarded the hosting of 2022 football World Cup competitions and its labor laws came under growing international scrutiny.

Under the kafala system, employers in the US-backed kingdom can prevent its mostly foreign-based labor force from changing jobs or even leaving the country.

The report further underlined that there are nearly 400,000 Nepalese workers in Qatar among the 1.4 million migrants working on a £137 billion construction spree in the tiny Persian Gulf state.

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