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Sponsorship System in Qatar May Go

Doha, Qatar : 11 November 2010

The Prime Minister of Qatar commented that the nation’s controversial system of sponsorship for jobs in Qatar may be scrapped.

Both Kuwait and Bahrain, also members of the GCC, have cancelled their own sponsorship setups which have been compared to slavery systems by the Minister of Labour in Bahrain.

These systems limit the activity of foreign workers, not allowing them to leave or come into the country without sponsorship approval.  Also, they are not able to begin or change employment without their sponsor’s approval.

Groups supporting local rights and international groups have attacked the program again and again, criticizing the system that enjoys wide and powerful support throughout the business community in the GCC.

Shaikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani stated that the system is being looked at with serious inquiries and keeping in mind the most current developments, legal measures and other action may be required.  The rights of citizens in Qatar are being studied with care, as well as employee rights and the preservation of the rights of those who come into the nation for employment.  Balance between all parties is necessary and crucial.

Shaikh Hamad spoke at the NHRC (National Human Rights Committee), attending the launch of their new headquarters.  He noted that the last few years have seen numerous important changes in the system.  These are all part of the move to scrap the sponsorship setup, but such a drastic move is not instantaneous and takes time to implement.

Also Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Shaikh Hamad noted the significance of Qatar’s move to attend to domestic affairs.

He stated that “politicization of numerous issues” obviously occurs for particular reasons and that it is necessary in this environment to keep both citizens and foreigners aware of the situation.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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