World Cup host Qatar to introduce labor complaint reform

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Qatar on Saturday said it will introduce a labor panel to assess grievances by migrant workers later this month.

A government spokesman confirmed to AFP reports in local Arabic language media saying that the reform would be introduced in 8 days.

The spokesman said the panel would begin its work on March 18.

Labor disputes have, until now, been dealt with inside the court system, but the panel will be overseen by the labor ministry.

Qatar has come under intense global pressure since winning the right to host the World Cup to overhaul its labor practices, which critics have compared to modern-day slavery.

Human rights groups have attacked the Gulf state for its “kafala” sponsorship system, which forces the country’s some two million migrant workers to seek employer’s consent to change jobs or leave the country.

An ILO office will open in Qatar later this year, possibly as soon as next month.

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