Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch Middle East director, arguing in the organization's World Report 2016 that changes to Qatar's sponsorship system leave the "fundamentally exploitative characteristics of the kafala system in place."
Here’s our unofficial translation of Law No. 21 of 2015, Qatar's new law governing the entry, exit and residence of foreigners. Included in the legislation are amendments to provisions about exit permits and no objection certificates for expats.
Under the new Law No. 21 of 2015 signed by the Emir, a employer's approval is still required before an expat can travel outside Qatar or in some cases, transfer to a new job within five years of starting work.
When the new law takes effect in a year's time, there will be a new system to appeal refused exit permits. Additionally, expats who finish fixed contracts will no longer need their sponsor's approval to take up another job.
In addition to overhauling its kafala sponsorship system, there needs to be a shift in attitudes so that foreigners are seen and treated as equals, panelists said last night during a discussion hosted by Qatar’s Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics.