The Philippines’ Labor Migration: OFWs in Qatar and the Kafala System
Mirasol, Jeremy Dexter B. | June 2017
The word kafala has two distinct meanings in classical Arabic: to guarantee and to take care of. The kafala system is a timehonored tradition of hospitality, which lays down obligations in the treatment and protection of foreign guests. The customary grant of protection of guests originated from the Bedouins. It is a noble principle, but contemporary practice has been marred by criticisms over the years. The kafala system in the Gulf states commenced in the 1950s when these countries began to import labor to accelerate development due to the discovery of oil. It was one way to ensure that hired foreign workers were only given temporary residency in the receiving countries. It was also meant to address potential security concerns resulting from migrants outnumbering citizens.
CitationMirasol, Jeremy Dexter B.. 2017. The Philippines’ Labor Migration: OFWs in Qatar and the Kafala System. © Foreign Service Institute. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/7263.
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