Gulf Times: Doha: 12/11/2010: The existing sponsorship system is being studied at the level of the Cabinet, HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor al-Thani said yesterday at the inauguration of the new headquarters of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC).
Located at the back of the NBK petrol station in Doha Al Jadeed area, the expanded offices of the NHRC are located on multiple floors.
“In view of the progress currently underway in the state, the issue requires some legal procedures and others to be upgraded and developed,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem said.
Foremost in the debate is the system of locals sponsoring expatriate, a system often linked to labour abuse and even human trafficking.
The Prime Minister stressed that Qatar was now mulling deliberately and thoroughly the sponsorship issue to preserve the rights of both the Qatari citizen and the labourer at the same time, as well as the rights of the person who comes to work in Qatar.
“A great change has occurred in the past two years as far as the sponsor system in Qatar is concerned… considering that as part of the process. The process would not take place overnight and would need time and an appropriate way,” he said.
The HQ inauguration ceremony was attended by a number of ministers, the NHRC chairman and its members and a host of representatives of the concerned parties.
Speaking to Gulf Times, NHRC chairman Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri said the move to a new office was imperative as the committee expands its outreach.
“We are on course to do important things. We have a three-year strategy for NHRC. The new human rights law of Qatar was just passed in August,” he said.
“We are also looking to considerably expand our operations and various programmes,” he said.
In the new building, the NHRC is located on the ground floor (reception, IT Department), mezzanine floor (meeting, training and prayer rooms), 7th floor (Legal Affairs Dept), 8th floor (Programme & Education Dept, PR & Media Unit), 9th floor (Administration and Finance Dept), and the 10th floor (chairman, deputy chairman and general secretary).
Speaking to Gulf Times, former NHRC board member Hamda al-Sulaiti said the committee’s stakeholders were increasing as it strengthened its role in Qatar and overseas.
“The NHRC is increasingly becoming pro-active and needed to increase its capacity and facility here. It also needed to enhance co-operation with international and regional organisations of similar nature,” she said.