Dubai, Oct 17 (AP/UNB) — The energy-rich nation of Qatar is pledging to fully eliminate a labor system that ties foreign workers to their employer and requires them to have their company's permission to leave the country.
That's according to the United Nations' International Labor Organization, which said Wednesday that Qatar planned to end the so-called "kafala" system there.
The ILO says workers would be able to freely change employers under draft laws described as being "expected to come into force by January 2020."
The ILO also says Doha also is considering a minimum wage.
Qatar, whose citizens enjoy one of the world's highest per-capita incomes due to its natural gas reserves, partially ended the "kafala" system in 2018.
This comes as Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the Arabian Peninsula nation.
Hohhot, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/unb) -- Northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has stepped up efforts to enhance grassland protection, with the average vegetation coverage of its pastures rising to 44 percent in 2018 from 30 percent in 2000.
A total of 68 million hectares of pastures are now banned from grazing and the reserved areas for planting grass remain at over 3.33 million hectares, said Mu Yuan, head of the regional forestry and grassland administration.
The region has some 88 million hectares of grasslands, accounting for one-fifth of the country's total. The grasslands in the region suffered severe degradation and desertification in the late 1990s due to drought, overgrazing and insufficient protection.
The environment of Inner Mongolia's grasslands has improved in recent years thanks to a number of ecological projects and measures including controlling grazing and returning farmlands to grasslands and forests.
The region has also improved its legal system for grassland protection.
Beijing, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/unb) -- Chinese authorities on Wednesday released an action plan for air pollution control in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby areas, setting specific targets for the autumn and winter season.
The average density of PM2.5, fine particulate matter that causes smog, should drop by 4 percent from Oct. 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020, compared with the same period last year, according to the plan jointly released by several government agencies including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the National Development and Reform Commission.
The number of days with severe pollution should fall by 6 percent, said the plan.
Kigali, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/unb) -- Rwandan Minister of Emergency Management Germaine Kamayirese on Tuesday called for cooperation to cope with natural disasters during the rainy period.
All stakeholders from decision-makers to beneficiaries and the community at large should fully get involved in the effective implementation of disaster risk reduction measures, said Kamayirese at a meeting in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.
She called on Rwandans living in "high risk zones" to move to safe areas and urged the public to improve drainage systems, construct terraces and follow proper house construction guidelines among other measures to reduce the impact of natural disasters.
About 35,000 people out of 1.6 million Kigali residents resided in high risk zones of the city, said Rwanda Housing Authority earlier this month.
According to Kamayirese, floods, landslides, rainstorms and windstorms triggered by heavy rains and droughts are the main disasters affecting Rwandans.
At least 70 people were killed and 177 others injured by natural disasters triggered by heavy rains across the country in the first nine months this year, according to a disaster assessment report released by the Ministry of Emergency Management.