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Qatar: Shura Council recommendations push back against proposed kafala "abolition", incl. restrictions on workers' changing jobs or requiring exit permits

Photo: Ahmed_Abdel_Hamid, Getty Images via Canva Pro

"Qatar Shura Council recommendations threaten to undo reforms," 23 Feb 2021

Just six months after Qatar introduced significant reforms providing greater mobility for migrant workers, the Shura Council has pushed back with recommendations that, if accepted, will effectively undo all these reforms.

The controversial recommendations include not permitting job change during the contract term; restricting the number of times a worker can change jobs, and the percentage of workers in a company that can be allowed to change jobs; increasing the percentage of workers who require exit permit; and stricter action against ‘illegal’ workers...

A broad reading of these recommendations suggests that the Shura Council is pushing for a retraction of the reforms, and maintaining the status quo where employers continue to wield great power over those they sponsor...

It is this very status quo that the Shura Council aspires to maintain.