18 Oct 2019 – 11:49
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has welcomed the comprehensive reforms announced by the State of Qatar, aimed at ending Kafala system and setting an important step forward in supporting the rights of migrant workers.
In a statement released by the United Nations News Center yesterday, ILO said that the combined steps marked the end of Kafala system in the country.
The ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said that these steps will greatly support the rights of migrant workers, while contributing to a more efficient and productive economy.
The ILO said that these reforms are part of the ILO and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs cooperation agreement signed in 2017, which resulted in the opening of an ILO Project Office in Doha in April 2018.
The Cabinet approved on Wednesday a draft decision of the Minister of Interior on the controls and procedures for the exit of some categories of expatriates who are not subject to the Labor Law, reported QNA.
The new labour reforms have also gained praise from the diplomatic community in Qatar.
“I would like to congratulate the State of Qatar and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs for this important reform that establishes a non-discriminatory minimum wage for all workers and completes the abolishment of the ‘kafala system’ by removing the exit permit for domestic workers and all other categories of expat workers not covered by Law No. 13 of 2018.”
“I also welcome the unanimous decision taken by the Council of the Ministers to eliminate the NOC – no objection certificate from employers – previously necessary for workers to change jobs,” said Italian Ambassador Pasquale Salzano.
“These measures will make Qatar a role model in the region in the field of labour protection, contributing to advance social justice and support the rights of migrant workers. As soon as the reform enters into force, this remarkable transformation of the labour market will certainly benefit and strengthen the Qatari economy. I am confident that foreign investors and companies will be particularly attracted by a local business environment more friendly and dynamic,” added Salzano.
“Congratulations to the ILO on their 100th Anniversary, and to Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, H E Yousuf Mohamed Al Othman Fakhroo on the announcement of three new measures to protect workers in Qatar,” said a tweet from the US Embassy in Qatar.
Reacting on the newly announced labour reforms, Houtan Homayounpour, Head of the Project Office of the ILO in Qatar said in a tweet: “Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs just announced the abolishment of Kafala at the ILO Centenary event in Doha. No more exit visa for anyone. No more NOC to change employer and a non discriminatory minimum wage by January 2020.”