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Migrant workers, including female domestic workers, still have to obtain their employer’s permission to leave the country, which frequently leads to exploitation and abuse. Moreover, the de facto confiscation of passports by employers and their failure to renew foreign workers’ residence permits and health cards expose them to arrest and detention for unlawful presence in the country. The government has committed to align its laws and practices with international labour standards by signing an agreement with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Gender-based violence is also worrying, given the reluctance of the State to criminalise domestic violence, including marital rape, which leads to a total climate of impunity for violence against women. Corporal punishment of children is still permitted in the home, in alternative care and day-care settings, and schools. Qatari courts continue to impose the death penalty and the capital punishment was applied in five cases between 2012 and 2018.