Qatar Current Affairs - 2019
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UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) announced that Qatar will officially abolish its Exit Visa system for all foreign workers by the end of 2019.
Amnesty International (human rights group) report accused that Qatar, which will be hosting 2022 World Cup was failing to implement reforms and stop widespread labour abuse. As a result Qatar revived its pledge to reform labour section, and introduced a minimum monthly minimum of 750 riyals ($206) and also agreed to work closely with ILO.
In September 2018, Qatar approved legislation to scrap “kafala”, and by October 2018 it went into force for all but 5% of a company’s workforce (mostly senior positions). By end of 2018 it was eliminated for majority of workers, and in 2019 it will be extended to all remaining categories of worker.
About Kafala system
It is a Sponsorship system which regulates status of migrant workers. It is used to monitor migrant labourers, by requiring all unskilled labourers to have an in-country sponsor mostly their employer who is responsible for their visa and legal status. This tying of migrant workers’ visas with employers leads to requiring prior consent of their employer before changing jobs or leaving, which further leads to their exploitation.
As per the report of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, India has retained its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances (money sent back home by its nationals working abroad) in 2018.
World Bank Report on Remittances
- Indian diaspora has sent $79 billion (approximately Rs 5.5 lakh crore) home.
- The Remittances grew by more than 14% in India.
- A flooding disaster in Kerala has likely boosted the financial help that migrants sent to families.
- India received $ 62.7 billion remittances in 2016 and it was $65.3 billion in 2017.
- India was followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico ($36 billion), the Philippines ($34 billion) and Egypt ($29 billion),
- Remittances to low-and-middle-income countries rose 9.6% from 2017 and touched a record high of $529 billion in 2018.
- Global remittances reached $689 billion in 2018, up from $633 billion in 2017.
- Remittances to South Asia grew 12% to $131 billion in 2018.
- The upsurge in remittances was driven by stronger economic conditions in the United States.
- The pick-up in oil prices had a positive impact on outward remittances from some GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries.
- Excluding China, remittances to low and middle-income countries ($462 billion) were significantly larger than foreign direct investment flows in 2018 ($344 billion).
Gulf Cooperation Council
Gulf Cooperation Council is s a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Tags: Asia • Bahrain • China • Egypt • GCC • Gulf Cooperation Council • Indian Diaspora • Kerala • Kuwait • Mexico • Migration and Development Brief • Oman • Philippines • Qatar • Remittances • Saudi Arabia • UAE • United Arab Emirates • USA • World Bank