Earlier, the sponsor system denied the expatriates the basic rights to freedom of movement. This was because the person sponsoring you were the sole one who controls the worker under the sponsorship system that is also known as ‘Kafala System’.
In this system, the Passport of the worker was hold and he is issuing a MOI Iqama. After that, he needs to go back to his home country then only the sponsor can allow. If the sponsor is not agreed then he cannot leave the gulf country he is working for.
These GCC countries include;
- United Araba Emirate
- Saudi Arabia
What is the Status of Sponsorship System?
After a lot of resistance from human right organizations from across the globe. This system go improved. Like in Qatar, UAE, Oman, you need not any permission from your Kafeel (The sponsoring body.)
Though in Saudi Arabia it is about the abolish still the passport is in workers hand. Saudi vision 2030 is clear. It is announced that this system will be more improved than Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
Anyhow, in 2008, Saudi Arabia gave many rights to the employee like they can transfer the sponsorship after a certain period of time.
A number of domestic violation cases were reported in United Arab Emirate and hence this system was abolished completely or you can upgrade to optimum level.
Why this system was implemented?
Yes, the main reason was as you know these countries are oil rich and needs a lot of manpower from under developed countries like Pakistan, India, Philippine, and neighboring countries like Egypt, Jorden, Syria to meet their production needs.
A huge number of workforces was not easy to handle that’s why this was implemented to divide the concentration.
What was bad in this system?
There is nothing bad in this system. It was working well unless some greedy personal tried to evade the contracts and ultimately creating issues for everyone. Like the Kafeel/Spsonsor may ask extra money from the employee and then can only may approve the vocation. The employee has no option to fulfill it. Same if the employee got any good offer and he will run away from Kafeel.
What measures Qatar has taken now?
As the FIFA world cup 2022 is around and Qatar has to fulfil number of condition and this was the main issues by human rights organization. Qatar abolished the Kafala system.
Now, a company can hold 5% of the employee for who needs a permission otherwise may not cross airport the rest 95% can go any time anywhere. Just need to buy a ticket and pay the related fee.
Now, the resident permit expiry or Iqama Validity is one of tool to maintain the contractual obligation in a number of organization.
What are the benefits of New Sponsor System?
With this system, everything will be online. Like you can get out pass easily and can go home in any emergency cases. As this new system will be under government officials like Ministry of Interior or Ministry of Foreign Affair and hence no issue for anyone to get blackmailed by any individual.
Wrapping it Up
Human right organization was calling it a type of Modern Slavery where a worker was kept without any basic freedom. He was under constant pressure from one person and that was his sponsor.