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On March 22, the International Labor Organization moved to give Qatar until November to reform its laws governing migrant labor.With the international renown of the 2022 FIFA World Cup signaling Qatar's arrival on the world stage, the country faces additional significant challenges – and serious demands – to clean up its labor record. Since the beginning of the year, Qatar has taken major steps to overhaul its kafala system, the legal framework governing migrant labor, and improve labor laws that currently place Qatar fifth in the Global Slavery Index. Until December 2016, Qatar's migrant workers were formally regulated by the kafala system, common across the GCC.First, it allowed employees on a fixed-length contract to change employers, instead of requiring them to leave the country for two years to receive a new residency permit.The government claims to have abolished exit visas in January 2017, under an amendment (Law 1 of 2017) that states workers no longer need to inform the Interior Ministry three days before exiting the country. The Interior Ministry's new Exit Permit Grievances Committee, formed in December 2016, allows workers denied exit visas to file complaints against their employers; however, workers will still be required to petition either the government or their employer directly for free movement.
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