One of the abuses that kafala makes common is erratic – and worse – payment of salaries. Reports describe migrant workers going for months without any pay, chalking up debts and favours as they struggle to stay alive until the company decides to pay them. Those that complain – like Ouaddou – might be trapped in revenge.
Workers coming to Qatar are often promised a far higher salary than the one they receive. They pay hundreds of pounds to greedy recruitment agencies, who then switch the contracts on arrival. The workers – in debt and now completely trapped – have no choice but to work at these poverty rates, sometimes as low as 45p per hour. That’s if they get paid at all.