In practice, employers continue to flout these requirements with impunity due to the failure of the authorities to enforce this and other laws intended to protect workers’ rights.

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Many migrant workers complain that their employers fail to pay their wages on time, if at all.

Migrant workers are prohibited from unionizing or engaging in strikes, although they make up 99 percent of the private sector workforce.

Many migrant workers are obliged to live in cramped, unsanitary conditions, especially those working without documentation.

The (sponsorship) system ties a migrant worker’s legal residence to his or her employer or sponsor.

The law provides for the transfer of workers to other sponsors under certain conditions, but in practice workers are rarely able to secure the No Objection Certificates that they require from their existing sponsor to transfer legally to another sponsor.

It also requires that foreign workers obtain exit permits from their sponsors when they wish to leave Qatar; in practice, this enables employers to arbitrarily prevent their employees from leaving Qatar and returning to their home country.

Qatar has a population of about 2 million, of whom only 10 percent are Qatari nationals.

Low-paid migrant workers, mostly from countries in Asia and to a lesser extent Africa, continue to experience abuse and exploitation.

Gulf Arab countries have a high number of expatriate workers but do not allow naturalisation of foreigners, except in rare cases.