Kafala System UPSC | GCC Members & MCQ For UPSC

Kafala System UPSC | GCC Members & MCQ For UPSC – Kafala System is in the news following Saudi Arabia’s plan to cancel this sponsorship system and replace it with a new contractual system between migrant workers and employers in 2021. Hence, it is important to know the relevant facts about the Kafala system for the IAS Exam.

Kafala System | UPSC | GCC Members & MCQ For UPSC

What is the Kafala System?

It is a sponsorship system that binds migrant workers to one employer (a sponsor) in many countries of West Asia. It emerged in the 1950s with an objective to provide temporary and rotating labourers in the period of economic boom.

The practice of the Kafala System has been prevalent in the following countries or group of countries:

  1. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE
  2. Jordan
  3. Lebanon

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Components of the Kafala – How does it work?

The Kafala system revolved around three bodies:

  1. A migrant labourer
  2. An employer who is the sponsor and is called Kafeel.
  3. A contract period

The Kafala system functions in the following manner:

  1. A migrant worker in the countries that practise this sponsorship system is legally bound to his employer.
  2. Without Kafeel’s permission, the migrant worker cannot enter or leave the country; nor transfer his/her employment.
  3. To enter a country, a migrant gets tied to one sponsor who coordinates with the immigration authorities about the former’s arrival and departure as per the contractual agreement.

  • GCC comprises of 6 Members – UAE, BAHRAIN, SAUDI ARABIA, OMAN, QATAR & KUWAIT.
  • All GCC countries are Monarchies where majority population comprises Sunni Muslims.
  • GCC Countries are bound by the GCC CHARTER.
  • The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is the highest authority of the Organization. It is composed of the heads of the Member-States.
  • The Ministerial Council is composed of the Foreign Ministers of all the Member States
  • The Secretary-General is appointed by the Supreme Council for a term of three years renewable for another term.

Cons Of Kafala System

  1. Many times, the passport and travel documents of the migrant labourers are seized by the Kafeel in the destination country.
  2. International Labour Organization (ILO) in one of its reports, mentioned the Kafala System as a contemporary form of slavery due to the control of Kafeel over the migrant worker.
  3. There Is A Huge problem of Illegal Employment Through Kafala System.
  4. Exploitation of Workers By Kafeel.
  5. There Is total Control Of Kafeel On Labourers Which Violates International Standard Norms.

Questions And Answers Based On Kafala System

Q1 – Which country has recently abolished Kafala system?
  1. UAE
  2. Qatar
  3. Indonesia
  4. None of These

Q2 – How Many Countries Are The member Of GCC ?

  1. 5
  2. 6
  3. 7
  4. 8

Q3 – Which Of The Following Country Is Not The Member Of Gulf Cooperation Council ?

  1. UAE
  4. OMAN
  5. IRAN 


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