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Qatar’s Exit Visa Reform by October End

first_imgQatar’s decision to reform its controversial exit visa system will come in to effect by the month end, a leading international trade union body official has said.Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said on Oct.8  that the abolishment of Qatar’s controversial exit visa system will be implemented by the end of this month. She said this after meeting Qatar’s Prime minister and labor minister in capital Doha, reported AFP.The rich Gulf nation had announced that it would be amending its exit visa system to allow migrant workers to leave the country without informing their owners, in the first week of September. The amendment will help immigrant workers especially from India, Nepal and Bangladesh that are employed in Qatar.“We’ve seen significant progress, first of all we have seen the end of the exit visa law and that will be now implemented by the end of October,” she said the news agency. “Everybody’s aware that this is a big shift and that it will actually take a period of time but formally it will be implemented by the end of the month.”According to a news in the Gulf Times, during the meeting between Qatari Prime-minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and Burrow, areas of co-operation between Qatar and ITUC were reviewed. They also reviewed the efforts Qatar government is putting in developing a system that protects the rights of the workers.Last month Qatar News Agency (QNA) said that only private companies will be able to make use of the reformed exit visa system. It quoted a senior official of Ministry of Interior (MoI) as saying that government/semi government agencies or the persona sponsorships will not come under this scheme.The Emir of Qatar, which is sprucing up its infrastructure before hosting the Soccer World Cup in 2022, had signed a new law to remove certain provisions that required all migrant workers to seek permission from their employers before leaving the country. This reform was announced in September first week, but the date of enforcement was not announced then.The QNA had said then that the law will allow immigrant workers to leave the country temporarily or permanently without any exit permit within the duration of their work contract. It will be applicable to those immigrant workers that are part of the country’s Labor Code.However, the reform still has certain limitations like it allows companies to submit the names of a maximum of five percent of its employees, for whom a “no objection certificate” will be needed before leaving the country because of the nature of their work.Since Qatar has been constantly facing criticism by human right groups because of its stringent labor laws, its reform announcements are being seen as an attempt to remove the negativity associated with its name. Qatar also announced to increase the minimum wages by the end of this year. Related Itemslast_img read more

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