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Article

12 Mar 2018

Author:
The New Arab

World Cup host Qatar to introduce labour complaint reform

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Qatar will introduce a labour panel to assess grievances by migrant workers later this month, a major reform agreed by the 2022 World Cup host with the United Nations... The reform would be introduced in eight days and the panel would begin its work on March 18, a government spokesman confirmed to AFP. Labour disputes have, until now, been dealt with inside the court system, but the panel will be overseen by the labour ministry. The panel was part of a package of wholesale reforms agreed by Qatar last November as it sought to head-off a potentially embarrassing enquiry being launched by the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO) into alleged labour exploitation. Other reforms announced included clamping down on passport confiscation by employers, making it easier for workers to switch jobs and the introduction of a minimum wage, which Qatar has "temporarily" set at 750 Qatari riyals ($206, 167 euro) a month...  Human rights groups have attacked the Gulf state for its "kafala" sponsorship system, which forces the country's some two million migrant workers to seek employer's consent to change jobs or leave the country. But Doha insists the proposed reforms will dismantle kafala and place workers on a contractual system instead...

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