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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

‘I think we need to seriously think of abolishing the exit permit system’

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“I think we need to seriously think of abolishing the exit permit system, fixing minimum wages in various sectors, appointing welfare officers at all companies and also gradually allow the freedom to change jobs.”

– Dr. Ahmed Al Mohannadi, Editor-in-Chief of local sports magazine Doha Stadium Plus, in a new op-ed asserting that Qatar must “do more” to shore up its expat workers’ rights. 

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Unlike many locals, including those working in Qatar’s human rights organizations, Al Mohannadi did not dispute the veracity of recent media reports about poor working and living conditions among low-income construction workers here.

Instead, he focused on the negative impact human rights abuses are having on the country’s image, adding that laws in place to protect the vulnerable don’t appear to be working:

“Of course, in sectors like oil and gas, we can take pride for ensuring international standards, but in several others, the existing laws proved ineffective and we haven’t enacted new ones.”

To remedy the situation, he called on Qatar to amend its restrictive kafala (sponsorship) system, which ties employees to their sponsors, whose approval must be sought to buy a car, change jobs or even leave the country for vacation.

He concluded by saying:

“Let’s start doing what’s necessary and then do what’s possible. Then, I’m sure we can do the impossible and the whole world will applaud us.”

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of Doha Stadium Plus

8 COMMENTS

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Ricardo
Ricardo
8 years ago

Very simple equation.. “NOC = Modern Day Slavery”

Airlifter
Airlifter
8 years ago

Bravo! Qatar needs more outspoken citizens like Dr. Ahmed Al Mohannadi.

Here’s food for thought….

If laborers/workers are being treated well in Qatar, and if the ‘kafala’ exit permit provision is removed, then why would employers be so concerned about workers suddenly leaving the country?

Or is it the potential crisis of dealing with a mass exodus that frightens them?

A true measure of a mature society is freedom of movement. If workers choose to leave, then that should be their choice – and then perhaps the marketplace will accurately determine the supply and demand for skilled workers in Qatar.

KK
KK
8 years ago

What happened to the ‘old posts’ ?

Shabina921
Shabina921
8 years ago
Reply to  KK

We are working on getting all previous comments back onto the site. Please bear with us!

Indian
Indian
8 years ago

Gentlemen Words… But the truth is its also gonna be in the archive…

Mohammad Sadiq Makandar
Mohammad Sadiq Makandar
8 years ago

Qatar is already taken a very big step by giving the people a new young new Amir, even the Father Amir is well capable of ruling the country. And set the first ever example in gulf countries.
Same way Qatar will set another example by removing inhumane Kafala system very soon.

Ranganathan Nair
Ranganathan Nair
8 years ago

Qatar is a fantastic country where crime ,cheating ,corruption ,theft are very very less .The main reason is strong exit permit system .The country having huge number of expatriate employees .How the country control the expatriate staff .I recall that last recession many of the expatriate left Dubai without re pay Bank loan ,company loan ,borrowed money from employer and colleagues .They even left the car (which brought through Bank loan) at Airport and left the country . The exit permit system is one of the best system .Only thing the Government should monitor it carefully .I learned that labour immediately taking actions against employer up receiving complaint from the employee .Even blocking the company functions .QATAR SHOULD MAINTAIN EXIT PERMIT SYSTEM .OTHERWISE IT MAY RESULT INCREASING OF CRIME LEVELS .

carlsburg
carlsburg
8 years ago

what rock are you living under? Crime, corruption, human rights violations are present in Qatar. But are not acknowledged or widely publicized so they don’t exist.

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