Qatar: UN racism expert commends reforms but urges more action to end persistent discrimination
Achiume commended existing labour and immigration reforms aimed at improving conditions for low-income migrant workers – who make up 71% of the national population – and welcomed further reforms planned for early 2020.
“The nature and extent of positive reforms is truly significant,” she said. “However, immense power imbalances persist between employers and migrant workers, imbalances rooted in the kafala (sponsorship) system that historically structured labour relations and conditions of residency for low-income workers in Qatar.
“The result is that, both because of the content of the law, and the power it confers on employers over employees, many low-income workers are too afraid to seek justice for labour violations, and reasonably so.”