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What Will it Take for Saudi Arabia to Abolish Abusive Sponsorship System?

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Click to expand Image There are reports this week that Saudi authorities are seeking to abolish the notorious kafala (sponsorship) system in 2021. Under that system, some 10 million migrant workers’ legal status are tied to their employer—facilitating abuse and exploitation including forced labor, trafficking, and slavery-like conditions. Gulf states are increasingly keen to insist they have abolished the system. But most have really tinkered with reforms, and none have abolished it in full. Saudi Arabia has one of the most restrictive kafala systems in the region as it retains all of the…

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