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Qatar World Cup workers’ rights to improve with end of kafala system, claims union

• System described as modern slavery by trade union body
• News greeted cautiously by expert on migrant workers’ issues in the Gulf

The International Trade Union Confederation claims to have secured the agreement of the government in Qatar to significantly improve the physical and employment situation of two million migrant workers, including ending the kafala system, which the ITUC has described as modern slavery.

Human rights abuses such as kafala, by which workers are tied to a single employer, low pay, poor accommodation, labouring in dangerous heat and hundreds of unexplained deaths, have been subjected to intense global scrutiny and criticism since 2010 when Fifa voted for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.

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