DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.N.
The International Labor Organization said a ministerial decree allows nearly all migrant workers in Qatar to leave the country without first obtaining permission from their employers. The exit visas were part of the “kafala” system, which critics say restricts workers’ rights and leads to abuses.
Qatar changed its
A government statement said the ministerial decree is “another important step taken by the Government of Qatar to create a modern labour system that strengthens Qatar’s employment laws and protects the rights of all expatriate workers.”
It said the decree would not apply to members of the armed forces, and that companies could designate 5% of their workforce which must still seek prior approval to leave, due to their importance in the running of the firm. It said domestic workers “should” notify their employers 72 hours before departure.
“The ILO warmly welcomes these changes, which will benefit many migrant workers in Qatar,” said Houtan Homayounpour, the the head of the U.N.
Rights groups have long accused Qatar and other oil-rich Gulf nations — which rely heavily on migrant workers — of
The Associated Press