Qatar is an Arab emirate in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the larger Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south; otherwise the Persian Gulf surrounds the state. An oil-rich nation, Qatar has the second highest GDP per capita in the world, about $84,000.
There is no minimum wage in Qatar; wages of less than $300 a month are common. 94% of the workers are contract workers recruited abroad. While they work in Qatar they are under the Kafala system, a legal status for workers used in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. It gives immense power to the worker's sponsors. The worker cannot enter the country, change jobs, or leave the country without the sponsor's permission. Broad international efforts exist to reform the system, but it is ingrained into the culture, especially of Qatar. This system can affect highly compensated skilled or managerial workers from Europe or the United States as well as domestic workers recruited from South Asia.
Notes and references
- Morin, Richard. "Indentured Servitude in the Persian Gulf", April 12, 2013. Retrieved on 17 April 2013.
- Montague, James. "Desert heat: World Cup hosts Qatar face scrutiny over 'slavery' accusations", CNN, 1 May 2013.
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