UN labor body: Qatar pledges to end 'kafala' employment laws

FILE- In this April 23, 2019 file photo, workers leave their construction sites at the Msheireb Downtown Doha district in Doha, Qatar. The energy-rich nation of Qatar is pledging to fully eliminate a labor system that ties workers to their employer and requires them to have their company's permission to leave the country.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The energy-rich nation of Qatar is pledging to fully eliminate a labor system that ties foreign workers to their employer and requires them to have their company's permission to leave the country.

That's according to the United Nations' International Labor Organization, which said Wednesday that Qatar planned to end the so-called "kafala" system there.

The ILO says workers would be able to freely change employers under draft laws described as being "expected to come into force by January 2020."

The ILO also says Doha also is considering a minimum wage.

Qatar, whose citizens enjoy one of the world's highest per-capita incomes due to its natural gas reserves, partially ended the "kafala" system in 2018.

This comes as Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the Arabian Peninsula nation.

Sign up to receive daily business news emails from The Times-Dispatch

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.