A law change that will allow the majority of migrant workers to leave Qatar without permission from their employers has been heralded by campaigners as a landmark in the battle against labour abuses in the build-up to the next World Cup.
The reforms are a “step towards fundamental rights for migrant workers,” she added. “The kafala system was built around the fact that workers had to be sponsored, but they were effectively owned by another human being: their employer. Their visa was dependent on it, their identity card, their right to be in the country. It was modern-day slavery by any name.”