‘It will be better – it will be history’

Hussein al-Mulla, under secretary of the Labor Ministry, speaking to the New York Times about Qatar’s much-criticized kafala (sponsorship) system. 


According to al-Mulla, the country is working to institute reforms to kafala, which currently does not allow a worker to change jobs, travel outside of the nation, rent an apartment or open a checking account without the permission of his or her sponsor.

But progress is slow because of resistance from the local population, the NYT reports:

Some 95 percent of Qatari families employ a housemaid; more than half have two or more. A recent survey by the (Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University) found that nearly 9 in 10 Qataris did not want to see the kafala system weakened; if anything, 30 percent said they wanted to see employers’ prerogatives strengthened.

Al-Mulla added:

“Seven, eight years ago we didn’t have labor laws. It is better now than before. It will be better in the future.”


Credit: Photo by William Ward

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