We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Fri 11 Sep 2015 01:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Qatar said to agree changes to kafala system for foreign workers

Gulf state's cabinet reportedly takes measures to issue law regulating entry, exit and recruitment of expats

Qatar said to agree changes to kafala system for foreign workers
Construction worker. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Qatar has reportedly agreed changes to its controversial kafala sponsorship system for foreign workers as its construction industry revs up for the 2022 World Cup tournament.

AFP reported that the Gulf state's cabinet has backed draft legislation and took "measures to issue a law regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates", citing the official QNA news agency.

"The bill included provisions related to regulating the procedures and conditions of expatriates' entry, exit, residency and recruitment as well as switching to a different employer," QNA said, without giving further details.

The draft law still requires final approval by ministers, AFP reported.

Qatar, which has been widely criticised for its labour practices since winning the right to host football's biggest tournament, has previously pledged to try to introduce reform to the sponsorship system by the end of this year.

There are around 1.7 million foreign workers in Qatar, many working directly or indirectly on World Cup projects.

Qatar is carrying out a huge infrastructure programme costing $226 billion.

Last month, Qatar’s foreign minister lashed out at ongoing criticism of his country’s plans to hold the World Cup in 2022, saying that plans to reform the Gulf state’s labour laws were “on track”.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Khalid Al Attiyah said he was confident that the event would take place, despite a series of investigations being carried out by US and Swiss authorities into corruption at FIFA, the body that decides where World Cups are hosted.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall