Qatar eases ‘modern-day slavery’ law

Long-awaited reform of Qatar’s controversial exit visa system, which requires foreign workers to obtain their bosses’ permission to leave the country, has come into force on Sunday.

“Law No. 13 of 2018… regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates is being implemented starting today,” the interior ministry announced on Twitter.

Qatar announced in September it had approved legislation to scrap the visa system – a lynchpin of the country’s “kafala”, or sponsorship, system which many liken to modern-day slavery.

Under the new law, all but five percent of a company’s workforce – reportedly those in the most senior positions – can leave without prior permission from employers.

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