The government of Qatar announced today plans to reform its migrant labor laws and policies, replacing the controversial “kafala” or sponsorship system that ties workers in Qatar to a single employer with a “contractual relationship” system.
Qatar will be host to the FIFA World Cup in 2022 but there has been an international outcry against the deaths of over 400 migrant workers of primarily South Asian origins during construction related to the event. The outcry is believed to have had a huge role in leading Qatar to introduce these proposed reforms.
“We are going to abolish the kafala system…” said Colonel Abdullah Saqr al-Mohannadi, human rights director of the Qatari interior ministry, during a press conference. “Here in Qatar, we have the utmost respect for human rights and dignity.”
Al-Mohannadi went further to say, “We are introducing these reforms to make sure that abusive employers are held accountable under the law and that workers are able to submit complaints if employers breach contract, even though our independent and fair Judicial courts will probably rule in favor of Qataris, anyway.”
Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA, commented on the announcement, “It is very important to FIFA to have a country with an impressive human rights record and respect for human dignity be the one that hosts the World Cup – this is why we chose Qatar to begin with.” He added, “Because the government knows exactly how to treat people of all races and ethnicities,”
“My decision had nothing to do with the amount of money they paid me and the board members of FIFA.”
Some ghost spirits of the dead South Asian workers were present at the conference, as well, although they were too busy being dead to notice either Al-Mohannadi nor Blatter speaking.