According to al-Mulla, the country is working to institute reforms to kafala, which currently does not allow a worker to change jobs, travel outside of the nation, rent an apartment or open a checking account without the permission of his or her sponsor.
But progress is slow because of resistance from the local population, the NYT reports:
Some 95 percent of Qatari families employ a housemaid; more than half have two or more. A recent survey by the (Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University) found that nearly 9 in 10 Qataris did not want to see the kafala system weakened; if anything, 30 percent said they wanted to see employers’ prerogatives strengthened.
“Seven, eight years ago we didn’t have labor laws. It is better now than before. It will be better in the future.”
Credit: Photo by William Ward