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Doha: May 9, 2018 The National Human Rights Committee organized a workshop on “Labor Rights in the State of Qatar […]

Doha: May 9, 2018

The National Human Rights Committee organized a workshop on “Labor Rights in the State of Qatar and the Entry and Exit Law” for employees of the Human Rights Department, the General Administration of Passports and the Ministry of Labor, Administrative Development and Social Affairs; with a view to identify international and regional labor rights mechanisms. The workshop highlights the international context of workers’ rights from the perspective of international conventions and treaties, as well as the role of NGOs and civil society in promoting and protecting workers’ rights. In addition, it focus on the national framework for workers’ rights in the State of Qatar and in particular the legal frameworks regulating them.

Dr. Mohammed Seif Al-Kuwari, member of the National Human Rights Committee, said that Qatar is a country that has a strong track record in promoting and protecting workers’ rights in view of Qatar’s dependence on large numbers of expatriate workers who continue to achieve economic growth and improve its infrastructure. Al-Kuwari said: “the state’s concern for the promotion of workers’ rights is reflected in a number of changes to the policies and amendments to the laws related to the rights of workers and work conditions in order to achieve the greatest possible guarantees of decent work with a labor-based approach, as well as health care and safety in workplaces, in addition to achieving the necessary stability regarding their legal status and residence in the country in full conformity with international charters and instruments and the permanent constitution of the State of Qatar. Al-Kuwari added that this framework focuses on legal and political frameworks related to the rights of workers in the State of Qatar, in particular Law No. (21) of 2015 regulating the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence.
In the same context, the workshop tackled a number of themes; including, during the first session the international framework for workers ‘rights and the international and regional mechanisms for protecting workers’ rights presented by Ms. Hala Al Ali, legal advisor at the NHRC, the rights of workers in international conventions and treaties, presented by Dr. Yehia Konstantinides, assistant professor of law and human rights specialist at the Faculty of Law, Qatar University and the role of the International Labor Organization, NGOs and civil society in the promotion and protection of rights presented by Mr. Abdul Samad Sukkar, Research and Studies Expert, Police College. In the second session, the workshop discussed the national framework for workers’ rights and the labor law in Qatar and the guarantees provided to the worker presented by Dr. Fawzi Balkanani, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Law at Qatar University and Professor of Labor Law, as well as a reading in Law No. (21) of 2015 concerning the entry and exit of expatriates and their residence and role in promoting the rights of workers in the State of Qatar presented by Mr. Ahmed Abdullah Al-Subaie, the Association of Qatari Lawyers. In its third session, the workshop reviewed the situation of workers ‘rights in Qatar as well as its review of the assessment of the situation of workers’ rights in the report of the NHRC in Qatar according to the latest report and statistics on complaints submitted by Ms. Rania Fouad Jadallah, legal expert at the NHRC. In addition to the human rights situation in the State of Qatar, the progress achieved and shortcomings in terms of policies and procedures were reviewed by representatives of the inspection department under the Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Wahid Al-Obaidli and Ms. Iman Al-Ishaq.

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May 5, 2018 The NHRC has released “labour Booklet” in its new version, within the framework of the Committee’s mandate […]

May 5, 2018

The NHRC has released “labour Booklet” in its new version, within the framework of the Committee’s mandate in promoting human rights awareness and education. Mr. Abdulla Al Kaabi, Director of the Legal Affairs Department of the Committee, said in a press statement: This booklet is one of the most important publications of the Committee in raising awareness of the rights and duties of the workers. It was first published in 2009 in seven languages: Arabic, English, Nepalese, Filipino, Indonesian, Urdu and Tamil. Thousands of copies have been distributed in and outside the State of Qatar, and had a good echo at the national, regional and international levels. “Today, the Committee is issuing the fifth edition with an updated version of the booklet to include new legislation such as the Domestic Workers Act, amendments to the Labor Code, the Residence Act and its modern applications and mechanisms.”

Al-Kaabi pointed out that the State of Qatar has achieved further strengthening and respect for human rights. The Committee’s issuance of this booklet reflects these developments in a practical and accessible format for all; pointing out that the booklet contains the basic information for work and residence in Qatar in thirteen chapters, facilitates the search for information away from rigid legal terminology, in order to reach all groups at different levels of scientific and cultural.
In the drafting of this booklet, the language of direct communication to the target group was used to develop answers to the most frequently asked questions, to clarify the rights and duties of workers and to guide how to benefit from the legal system and remedies available to those groups.

Al Kaabi added that the updated version of the booklet will be printed in the same seven languages ​​that were previously published. Al-Kaabi said that the new languages ​​will be added including the Malayalam language, and other African languages ​​including Swahili, Nigerian, Congolese and Bengali.

It is worth mentioning that the National Human Rights Committee is accredited by the International Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions in Geneva under status “A”. It is subject to continuous evaluation every five years, and the Committee makes recommendations to the Government for consistency with international human rights standards.

In the field of the right to work, the Committee receives complaints and petitions by e-mail or hotline or in person at its headquarters, whether by the complainant or on his/her behalf, and the Committee seeks to mediate with the concerned parties in order to provide solutions to those affected. It also provides free legal advice, has a program of cooperation with a number of law firms in the State of Qatar, conducts field visits to places of residence, work, places of detention and health and education, either on its own or based on a complaint. It also publishes awareness leaflets on a regular basis, organizes campaigns and publishes reports On the human rights situation in the State of Qatar on its website every year.

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Doha: May 2, 2018 The president of the National Human Rights Committee, Dr. Ali Ben Smaikh Al-Marri, met today at […]

Doha: May 2, 2018

The president of the National Human Rights Committee, Dr. Ali Ben Smaikh Al-Marri, met today at the Committee’s headquarters with the delegation of the Spanish Parliament which is currently visiting the state under the chairmanship of Manuel Guerl Mo Altaba, Chairman of the Spanish Senate Justice Commission. The meeting discussed ways of cooperation in issues of common concern and activation of the exchange of experience and expertise in various human rights issues.

 

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The National Human Rights Committee of Qatar condemned the detention of the Qatari citizen arbitrarily by the Saudi authorities and […]

The National Human Rights Committee of Qatar condemned the detention of the Qatari citizen arbitrarily by the Saudi authorities and the denial of contact with his family or lawyer since 21 April. In addition to the inability of his family and his relatives to determine the place of his detention, or the charges made against him, as well as being at risk of torture and other ill-treatment in violation of international human rights conventions. In a statement issued today, the NHRC called on all international human rights bodies and organizations and the Special rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention to intervene to release him.

Text of the Statement
In continuation of the series of human rights violations committed by the countries of the blockade against the State of Qatar and its citizens, and practices that violate all international human rights conventions, instruments and norms, Qatar National Human Rights Committee condemns in the strongest terms the arrest of Mohsen Saleh Saadoun Al-Karbi, Qatari citizen who has been arrested in the Republic of Yemen by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen at Shahn border crossing point with Sultanate of Oman on April 21st 2018, during his visit to his family and relatives, and without any charges made against him.

Qatar National Human Rights Committee also condemns the arbitrary detention of the aforesaid citizen by the Saudi authorities and the denial of contact with his family or lawyer since then. His family does not know the place of his detention specifically, nor the charges made against him; in addition to being at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in violation of relevant international human rights conventions.

Accordingly, Qatar National Human Rights Committee calls upon all international human rights bodies and organizations and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to promptly intervene to release the aforesaid citizen, and calls upon the Saudi authorities to disclose his legal status and to immediately allow him to communicate with his family and lawyers. The NHRC also calls on the Saudi authorities to ensure that he is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, receive any medical care he may need, and speed his release. The NHRC holds the Saudi authorities fully responsible for his security and safety.

16 Shaban 1439, 2nd May 2018
Doha, Qatar

 To read the full statement Click Here

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The agreement is the first of its kind for the European Parliament with a national institution for human rights in […]

The agreement is the first of its kind for the European Parliament with a national institution for human rights in the Gulf and Arab countries

Brussels : 28 April 2018

The National Human Rights Committee of Qatar signed a consultative agreement to exchange experiences and consultations with the European Parliament; it is considered the first of its kind with a national institution for human rights in the Gulf and Arab countries, reflecting the credibility of the NHRC at the global level. The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the European Parliament last week, on the sidelines of the hearing of the Sub-Commission on Human Rights, in a prominent presence of members of the European Parliament.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Ali Ben Smaikh Al Marri, Chairman of the NHRC and Mr. Antonio Panziri, Chairman of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament. The signed agreement is one of the most important mechanisms through which the human rights developments in Qatar are implemented and monitored. The agreement will pave the way for close cooperation between the NHRC and the European Parliament to carry out many joint human rights programs. It will also allow the European Parliament to identify and learn more about the repercussions of the blockade and discuss how to address these violations.

“The signing of the agreement will strengthen the partnership and cooperation between the NHRC and the European Parliament to address all the challenges resulting from the human rights situation, and address the violations and repercussions of the blockade,” Dr. Ali Bin Smeikh Al Marri said.

The signing of the agreement follows recent meetings and exchange of views between the NHRC and the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the European Parliament (DROIT). The two sides decided to continue bilateral activities in the form of a memorandum of cooperation aimed at regulating their relationship, Exchange of experience, information and bilateral contacts in the field of human rights.

The agreement includes the exchange of experiences with a view to enhancing the work of members and staff in various disciplines; sharing experiences on international human rights conventions, including ILO conventions, an annual work plan with regular evaluation to monitor their implementation, To the needs dictated by projects between the two sides. The signing by the European Parliament of an agreement with the NHRC for the first time in the history of the human rights institutions in the Gulf and the Arab States reflects the status and credibility of the NHRC with international organizations and international partners and marks the efforts and work of the NHRC for more than 16 years.

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The countries of the blockade exercise disinformation, their claims to form committees to stop violations and allow the prosecution prove […]

The countries of the blockade exercise disinformation, their claims to form committees to stop violations and allow the prosecution prove to be unfounded

The Saudi obstacles to Hajj and Umrah will be raised in the agendas of the human rights mechanisms and bodies

we call on the inclusion of the issue of the blockade in the annual report of the European Parliament on the human rights situation

we call on the inclusion of the “politicization of religious rites” in the United Nations human rights system until Saudi Arabia stops the violations

we invite the EU envoy to visit Qatar and the countries of the blockade

the countries of the blockade- contrary to what they claim – did not take any action to stop violations

The blockading countries mislead international public opinion

Victims demand justice, determination of responsibilities and accountability of those involved

Brussels: 28 April 2018

Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri, Chairman of the NHRC in the State of Qatar, called on the European Parliament to adopt urgent and effective mechanisms and procedures to end the suffering of those affected by the blockade imposed on Qatar, such as issuing a recommendation on the serious repercussions of the blockade on human rights, dispatching a parliamentary committee to investigate the negative effects of the crisis, and including the issue of the repercussions of the blockade in the annual report of the European Parliament on the human rights situation, hoping that the violations resulting from the blockade of Qatar are considered as a priority in the discussions at the European Parliament in the coming period.

At a hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels, Dr. Ali Ben Smaikh, the European Union invited the envoy to visit Qatar and the countries of the blockade to come close to the human rights violations committed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain, stressing that “after nearly a year of the blockade, the victims no longer trust the statements of condemnation, demand concrete and effective measures to redress them, and to identify responsibilities and accountability of those involved in the violations, noting that contrary to the claims of the blockading countries, they have not taken any action to stop its violations, and continue to practice political misinformation.

Al-Marri presents the results of the achievements of the NHRC

Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh Al Marri started his intervention at the hearing by presenting a brief about the establishment of the NHRC and the achievements it has made over 16 years in the course of human rights inside and outside the State of Qatar, as well as the international partnerships that the NHRC has achieved, in particular with OHCHR and the most prominent international organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, to the international support of the Office of National Institutions of the OHCHR and the GANHRI, and APF. Al Marri also gave an overview of the human rights situation in Qatar and the contributions of the NHRC to the reforms undertaken by the Qatari Government to promote the rights of workers. In response to questions from members of the European Parliament, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh presented the most important challenges, opportunities and developments related to the rights of women and workers, freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the agreements signed with several international human rights organizations and Qatar’s accession to international human rights conventions.

What’s next after 1 year under the blockade!

The President of the NHRC talked about the blockade crisis imposed on Qatar since 5 June and its repercussions on human rights, and gave a brief explanation, supported by statistics and figures, about the violations of the rights of citizens and residents of the State of Qatar and the blockading countries themselves, to the actions taken by the NHRC to expose these violations and their success in gaining the confidence and support of the international community and international human rights organizations, Parliamentary and human rights organizations. In this regard, Al Marri referred to the visit of the delegation of the technical mission of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and its comprehensive report on the violations of the blockade, the statements and appeals of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the statement of 220 international organizations and trade unions during The Conference on Freedom of Expression condemning in the strongest terms the 13 demands of the countries of the blockade, including the closure of Al-Jazeera and all the media belonging to Qatar, and finally the letters addressed by six special rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council to the Governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to call for immediate action to stop discriminatory and arbitrary measures, and to prosecute those responsible for violations.

Mechanisms of the blockading countries to address the violations are vague and ineffective

The President of the NHRC was keen to draw the attention of the European Parliamentarians, and the European and international governments, to the continuation of the blockading countries in their violations, expressing the shock at the false claims announced by the countries of the blockade that they had taken action to address the violations monitored by the six Special Rapporteurs in the individual letters addressed to the three Governments including opening hotlines to receive complaints and appeals, and granted the right of litigation to those affected by violations, and allowed them to exercise their rights in full, including the right to practice religious rites for citizens and residents of the State of Qatar!

“It has become clear that hotlines are useless, with the testimony of the OHCHR, and have become a mechanism for the authorities to monitor their citizens and punish those who dare to complain, while the delusional committees they talk about are not transparent,” Al Marri said. Noting that, the countries of the blockade have not provided to the United Nations any evidence of the cases they have dealt with. They also argue that victims can resort to the local jurisdiction of the blockading countries and that lawyers can lodge complaints with them, whereas since the beginning of the crisis, the right to litigation has been violated and the doors of the courts in these countries are completely closed to victims and their lawyers. We have been in contact with many lawyers in the countries of the blockade, and they have assured us that they cannot file any suits in this regard because of the indirect prohibition practiced by those countries to reach the judiciary, in addition to the law criminalizing the sympathy with Qatar and its people.

Raising the issue of “Hajj and Umrah” in the United Nations system until relevant obstacles are eliminated

In response to a question on the extent of the commitment of the blockading countries to lift the restrictions on the right to practice religious rites for citizens and residents in Qatar, the President of the National Human Rights Committee said: “About a year ago the blockade, the two holy mosques are closed to pilgrims from Qatar! That the pilgrimage campaigns incurred heavy losses, resulting in the forced dismissal of workers.” Al Marri added: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to cover up the international community and make baseless allegations in response to the letter of the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteurs who claim to allow Qataris to perform Hajj and Umrah and to take measures to address the grievances of those affected. In the same context, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh stated that “The NHRC intends to invite the Special Rapporteur to freedom of belief to issue an urgent appeal to the Saudi authorities for continuing to violate the right to practice religious rites and to invite him to visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia to discuss the extent of suffering and politicization of religious rites, Obstacles to their right to Hajj and Umrah without restrictions. We also invite the Special Rapporteur on freedom of belief to include in his annual report to the Human Rights Council the issue, we consider this as a very important step, and we assure you that as long as the Kingdom’s authorities continue to politicize rites and put obstacles and difficulties for pilgrims from Qatar, the violations shall be raised before the United Nations system of human rights.”

Saudi Arabia must be aware of the danger of politicizing religious rites and its image in the Muslim world

Dr. Ali Ben Smaikh stated before the European Parliamentarians: “I assure you that the NHRC in Qatar will spare no effort until the obstacles for the citizens and residents of Qatar are lifted and the right to practice religious rites are regained, especially after the failure of all attempts at dialogue which was between the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs in the State of Qatar and Saudi Arabia counterpart. Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri stressed the continuation of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar to contact several organizations in the countries of the blockade to find a way out of the crisis to no avail, pointing out in this regard to “Saudi Arabia and the UAE Human Rights Society which received all cases from the NHRC with no response.

Recommendations to the European Parliament

The President of the NHRC concluded by presenting a number of recommendations to the members of the European Parliament, and called on the Parliamentary Subcommittee to take a position on the violations by including the repercussions of the blockade in the annual report of the European Parliament on the human rights situation. He also called on the Sub-Committee on Human Rights to visit the State of Qatar to learn more about the repercussions of the blockade, in parallel with a similar call to the European Union’s human rights envoy.

Fruitful discussions of members of the European Parliament

The hearing by Antonio Panzieri, chairman of the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the European Parliament, amidst a remarkable presence of the European Parliamentarians, witnessed hot debates. The deputies raised a number of questions that focused on the human rights situation in Qatar and the efforts exerted by the committee to develop the rights of workers, women and people with disabilities, to the repercussions of the blockade imposed on Qatar and the efforts of the National Human Rights Committee to stop the violations caused by the blockade. In response to questions from members of the European Parliament, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh briefed the most important challenges, opportunities and developments related to the rights of women and workers, freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the agreements signed with several international human rights organizations and Qatar’s accession to international human rights conventions.

The Commission on Human Rights wins the confidence of the European Parliament

The European Parliament’s invitation to the President of the National Human Rights Committee to a public hearing reflects the Parliament’s understanding of the extent of the suffering of the victims as a result of the unjust blockade. It also reflects the success of the NHRC in convincing international public opinion of the credibility of its reports that monitored the violations since the first day of the blockade, beginning with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United States Congress, the European, British and French Parliament and major international human rights organizations.

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The NHRC shall sign an agreement to share and exchange experiences tomorrow with the parliament Brussels : Wednesday 25 April […]

The NHRC shall sign an agreement to share and exchange experiences tomorrow with the parliament

Brussels : Wednesday 25 April 2018

The first official hearing for the NHRC before the European Parliament shall be on Thursday, at the invitation of the European Parliament and in the presence of the members of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, a number of other committees of the Parliament and a number of heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the European Union. Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh Al Marri, president of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar, held a series of important meetings with officials in Parliament and the European Union.

The President of the NHRC started his official visit to the European Parliament with a series of meetings with the assistants of Mrs. Federica Mugreni, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Gabrielle Vicenteini, and Ms. Federica Mugreni, EU High Representatives for External Relations at the Parliament, as well as Mr. Ytru Duchi, Head of the Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) and Ms. Rosamaria Jelle, EU External Action Service (EEAS), Mr. Salvatore Chico, Vice-Chairman of the Delegation of the Arabian Peninsula in the European Parliament.

During the meetings, Al Marri gave an overview of the repercussions of the blockade imposed on Qatar and the violations that have affected thousands of citizens and residents in Qatar and the GCC countries, pointing out that the efforts made by the National Human Rights Committee since the first day of the crisis are dedicated to defend the rights of the affected people and international movements at the level of human rights organizations and international parliaments. Dr. Al Marri holds a hearing in the European Parliament, led by the head of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights, Mr. Antonio Panzari, on the repercussions of the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar.

Dr. Ali Bin Samih Al Marri will sign a consultative agreement to exchange experiences and consultations between the National Human Rights Committee and the European Parliament, and it is considered the first of its kind with a national human rights institution in the Arab region and worldwide. There shall also be a hearing for the NHRC at the European Parliament that comes after a recent visit by a delegation of the European Parliament to Doha, as well as the visit of Mr. Antonio Panziri, Chairman of the Human Rights Sub-Committee on human rights of the European Parliament at the beginning of April.

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 Doha : 22 April 2018 Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al-Marri, president of the National Human Rights Committee, met today with […]

 Doha : 22 April 2018

Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al-Marri, president of the National Human Rights Committee, met today with the delegation of The Qatari – European Friendship Association headed by Mrs. Ramona Manescu, President of the Association.

Dr. Al-Marri during the meeting gave a comprehensive brief of the NHRC and its origin, terms of reference and methods of work. Al Marri also discussed the legislative developments in the State of Qatar, particularly with regard to enhancing the protection of workers’ rights, in addition to the role of the NHRC in monitoring and documenting the violations since the beginning of the blockade crisis, as well as the response of international organizations and missions, including the United Nations Mission. Dr. Al-Marri, provided the delegation with the latest reports and statistics on the violations of human rights resulting of the blcokade.

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Doha:17 April 2018 Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, president of the National Human Rights Committee, met in his office […]

Doha:17 April 2018

Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, president of the National Human Rights Committee, met in his office at the NHRC’s headquarters with Mrs. Yvonne Laila Khoies Aboul Baki, Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to the State of Qatar. The two sides discussed means of cooperation on issues of mutual concern and activating communication mechanisms to exchange experiences and expertise in human rights issues.

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