- Unskilled and semi-skilled workers frequently arrive in Qatar severely indebted because of fees they are forced to pay to middlemen that include kickbacks to corrupt agents and executives acting with or without the knowledge of the employer. As a result a significant portion of a worker’s wages goes to maintenance of a corrupt system rather than reduction of inequality;
- World Bank official Mary Breeding concluded from research in India that unskilled and low skilled workers are mostly recruited in rural rather than urban areas in South Asia where wages are often similar to those in the Gulf. Workers from rural areas with less access to information are more susceptible to the pitfalls of engaging middlemen who not only charge illegal fees but often lure them with promises of jobs and income that differ from what they are obliged to accept once they arrive in Qatar and other Gulf states;
- Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar researchers concluded that the cost of maintaining the kafala system has not only cost Qatar significant reputational damage but has also negatively impacted it’s ranking in the United Nation’s Human Development Index (HDI). The researcher said Qatar would rank near the top of the index if adjustments were made for its large population of migrant workers. With other words, the kafala system undercuts Qatar’s soft power effort designed to project the Gulf state as a cutting edge, 21st century knowledge-based society.
The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer
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