Legislative developments have shown commitment and seriousness towards the development of the human rights situation in the country
Working conditions in Qatar are always going for the better
Philippines: 9 January 2019
The National Human Rights Committee of Qatar signed a memorandum of cooperation with its counterpart, of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Republic of the Philippines. The Committee was signed by Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh Al Marri, Chairman of the NHRC, and by Mr. José Luis Martin Gascon, president of the CHR.
Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh stressed that The idea of signing this agreement is based on recognition of the unique role played by the Filipino community in Qatar and its participation in the development process, and the desire of the NHRC to extend the bridges of cooperation with the Commission as an NHRI with similar functions and responsibilities. The signing of this agreement is the culmination of the previous efforts made in the opening of the office of the Filipino community at our headquarters, and we look forward to establish a working group to activate the implementation of its articles.
Al Marri said: ” We hope that through this agreement we will work together to limit the grounds behind which workers or employees complain, know the root causes of the problems and to find solutions, whether these problems initiate at the Philippines or Qatar. We hope to see all the Filipino workers are free of debts caused by the visa traders, and to ensure that the Qatari Labor Code will be applied fairly and without discrimination”.
Al Marri reviewed review some of the legal developments in Qatar that reflect the commitment and seriousness towards the development of human rights, including domestic workers Act which for the first time granted rights to domestic workers following their exclusion from the Labor Code, it determines maximum hours of work and weekly holiday, and provides for paid annual leave and indemnity, and the law abolishing exit permit for expatriate workers under the Labor Code, whether the exit is temporary or final and during the term of the contract without restrictions, which helps promote and protect the right to freedom of movement and travel. Moreover, the Law on the Establishment of the Commission on settlement of Labor Disputes, which decides on the dispute within three weeks of the first hearing; in addition to the draft law establishing the Workers’ Support Fund in case of insolvency of enterprises or refusal by employers to pay for benefits. Finally, the Filipino citizen in all countries of the world has demonstrated a great deal of intelligence and flexibility, in addition to spirit of hard work, diligence and adaptation, which reflects your distinguished long-standing civilization and emphasizes the positive diversity of races and cultures and their impact on the openness of society and acceptance of the other.
Al Marri expressed express my pleasure and gratitude for the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Commission on Human Rights, aiming at fostering close relations between the parties in the field of the promotion and protection of human rights, in particular the rights of workers from the Philippines and members of their families. While the main points of the agreement provided for the development of public awareness of the principles and standards of human rights. In addition, the parties to the Convention jointly organize training courses, conferences, forums or symposia on international human rights law and other laws relevant to the needs of workers specifically developed for the Governments of the parties concerned, in particular departments, ministries and other agencies concerned with employment and migration, diplomatic missions, Labor, workers, workers’ organizations and associations; as well as conducting studies or research on subjects of common concern, particularly those affecting migrant workers and trafficked persons. And the possibility of referring certain individual urgent situations that may require the intervention of one party as well as responding in a timely manner and informing it regularly of the party concerned.
The agreement also stressed the importance of exchanging experiences and building capacities and presenting proposals and recommendations for the promotion and protection of labor rights in both countries, as well as exchange of information on the monitoring by both parties of the extent to which their respective Governments apply national laws and international treaties relating to workers, joint development, dissemination of information on human rights in consultation with relevant government agencies, Such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Labor department in the Philippines and Qatar.
Al Marri stressed the importance of continuing the work of the Philippine Community Office located in the headquarters of the National Human Rights Committee, and strengthen its role in receiving complaints and develop mechanisms to reach the target groups, to respond quickly to their requirements, as well as cooperation in the organization of training courses, workshops, symposiums, events and joint activities such as observance of World Human Rights Day, World Labor Day and other activities relating to the promotion and protection of human rights.