The Emirate of Qatar has announced that on 12 December 2016, its sovereign, the Emir Tamim ben Hamad Al Thani, had abrogated the Kafala.

The Kafala assigned every foreign worker to an owner who confiscated his identity papers. The latter had complete power to determine who would employ him and under what conditions, as well as the authority to determine if he leave the country or not.

From now on, contractual law will apply. However, we still do not know how 2.1 million immigrants will be migrated from slave status to worker status. Its seems that in the current state of affairs, masters will be required to return to their slaves their passports; slaves will be able to freely change employment, but will still be required to obtain authorization from their employers to leave the country.

This decision will take some time to implement. It seems to have been motivated in anticipation of the World Cup, scheduled for 2022.

Anoosha Boralessa