Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. Kafala System in GCC States

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Summary Since the introduction of Kafala system, also known as sponsorship system, in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) along with Lebanon and Jordan in Mashriq region, some serious human rights violations have aroused. Kafala system is a sponsorship system designed to regulate and employ migrant workers in countries compromising of GCC states (Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Kuwait, and Sultanate of Oman), Jordan, and Lebanon. Under the sponsorship system, a contract is signed between worker and recruitment agency for a minimum of 2 years, in which sponsor assumes full legal and economic responsibility of the migrant, including visa status, residence, living conditions, wages, and health…show more content…
However, as Qatar started its colossal preparation and constructions for FIFA World Cup 2022, massive human rights violations were recorder by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, sparkling heavy criticism and condemnation throughout the world. In this document I will identify human rights violations in GCC countries and Lebanon under the Kafala system and try to explore how thousands of employers abuse millions of migrant workers. I will also document the problems of “exit visa” in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, scarce living conditions and health problems of migrant workers, violence against migrant domestic workers in Lebanon, violation of freedom in Saudi Arabia, and violation of basic labor rights in Qatar during the preparation of FIFA World Cup 2022. I will conclude the report by identifying the violations under Intentional Law and giving recommendations to countries which use Kafala system. Background Historically, the Kafala system was never intended to be the main source of exploitation and abuse of migrants. Khan and Harroff-Tavel claim in their article that, “The sponsorship system is a time-honored tradition of the Bedouin principle of hospitality, which sets obligations in the treatment and protection of foreign guests” (Khan & Harrof-Tavel, 2011, p. 294). However, over some period of time, its purpose and practice has dramatically changed. The necessity of Kafala system was increased after the discovery of

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