Qatar - New Qatari law is not changing the substantial situation of migrant workers not allowed to repatriate

Qatar has denied many immigrant workers from India, Nepal and Bangladesh the ability to return home, despite a new law that was approved in December 2016.

Trade unions have denounced the fact that the law has not abolished the kafala system. Workers continue to be dependent on their employer in order to obtain an exit permit. According to the data reported by the State-run Qatar News Agency, the newly established Exit Permit Grievances Committee rejected 213 of 760 requests made up until 15 February 2017, but no reason was provided for the denial of the requests.

A further confirmation of the unchanged nature of working conditions in the Gulf State is the recent episode of a Nepali migrant worker found dead by his brother. Mr Ram Sharan Mandal, aged 40, was ill and asked for permission to leave the state in order to go back to his homeland to receive adequate treatment and assistance. However, the permission was not granted and on 16 April he was overcome by his illness and died.

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