Doha on Wednesday 30 January 2019
The National Human Rights Committee confirmed that the State of Qatar has implemented many reforms in the last two years, which are the result of great efforts to protect and promote human rights, in which the National Human Rights Committee has contributed through its recommendations to the government, including the appointment of four women in the Shura Council.
In a lecture on the “Role of the NHRC in the Protection of Migrant Workers” on the third and final day of the APF SEO Meeting, the National Human Rights Committee stated that the right to work, as well as other social, economic and civil rights are guaranteed to every worker.”
The NHRC has always been able to recommend further reforms; The Committee was the first in Qatar to say that the sponsorship system should be abolished, and we raised the concern that the category of domestic workers are excluded from the labor law, and presented these concerns in our reports and recommendations to the Qatari government, and submit proposals to resolve these problems. The National Human Rights Committee remains satisfied that the products of its work, including the enactment of the Domestic Employment Law, the abolition of the sponsorship system and new laws to protect wages. The role of the National Committee is to follow up on the implementation of new reforms. We have previously conducted a study on the situation of workers including a questionnaire in which 1,200 workers participated, out of which 98% claimed that they paid for their work visas. It is a good practice that the Qatari government has taken a very good step by opening an employment office in Sri Lanka, which ensures Ethical and responsible recruitment of migrant workers. The NHRC will open other offices in other labor-exporting countries to ensure that recruitment is on the right footing” said the National Committee on Human Rights.
The NHRC concluded its paper by saying: “In addition to these gains, we are concerned with the category of persons with disabilities, women and children. The NHRC has monitored some violations of human rights, made recommendations to the competent authority, and has been working to resolve them in practice. We are looking forward to the implementation of our recommendations to the government, including our recommendations to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Individual Migrant Workers and their Families. We also consider women’s rights a priority in terms of participation in public affairs and protection against violence through the development of legislation and special regulations.”
Abdel Basset El Hassan: International conference on migration in the future
Dr. Abdel Basset Hassan, President of the Arab Institute for Human Rights, said that there is an attempt to organize an international conference on migration annually after the success of the Tunis conference which reflected the successful cooperation and coordination between the NHRIs, UNESCO and the Arab Institute for Human Rights. In his speech given during the Asia-Pacific Forum SEO Meeting, Dr. Basit Hassan said that the Arab Institute organized the first training course with the National Human Rights Committee in 2004 and organized several meetings of national committees, programs and books to reform the education process in Qatar. Dr. Basit noted that “over the past three decades, cooperation between civil society organizations and national human rights committees has focused on three main aspects of work: first, the introduction of human rights and their concepts in Arab countries, noting that it was not an easy task, as we have faced resistance with regard to many values such as equality, freedom and others, but we need to continue to disseminate the concepts and values of human rights across the world, even in situations of extremism and radicalism, incitement and intolerance, terrorism and hate.”
Dr. Abdel Basset Hassan discussed the need to develop cooperation and the preparation of policies on human rights, including them in social, economic and cultural policies, and the amendment of laws and legislation, pointing out that national human rights institutions can help civil societies to be an active actor in the formulation of policies and strategy. In many countries, these efforts have succeeded, and we have brought together the parties to change policies and regulations, despite the difficulties, and the shrinking space of civil society in many countries.”
Qatar has provided an important platform to discuss human rights challenges with transparency
While the SEO of the Asia-Pacific Forum concluded at the conclusion of their meeting in Doha that the National Commission for Human Rights has succeeded in providing a forum for frank dialogue, bringing together the largest number of executives to discuss the challenges to human rights in the region, stressing their determination to form a network to exchange experiences on strengthening Human rights in the region. On the third and final day of the meeting, participants gave an overview of their experiences in the development of human rights in Asia Pacific region. They agreed that the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar had successfully gathered the largest number of executives to address the various issues and challenges with transparency. The participants agreed to hold their next meeting in Mongolia. At the same time, they commended Qatar’s hosting the APF sub-regional office of West Asia, which has been actively involved in the implementation of the objectives of the APF, all of which are in the interest of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.