Doha: 26 November 2019
Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, met at his office today with The Swedish ambassador to Qatar, Anders Bengtcén.Read More
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Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, met at his office with Dr. Narad Nas Pradawaj, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. The meeting discussed ways of cooperation in issues of mutual interest and the exchange of experiences and expertise in the field of human rights.Read More
The Vice-Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), Dr. Mohammed bin Saif Al Kuwari, met with Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
The meeting dealt with means of cooperation on issues of common interest and activating mechanisms for exchanging experiences and expertise, especially best practices to eliminate all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance. During the meeting, an introductory presentation was delivered about NHRC, its objectives, legal nature, mechanisms of work and methods of receiving complaints and ways to resolve them as well as the role of human rights education in promoting tolerance and eliminating racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance.
In the same context, officials reviewed the NHRC’s role in urging the State to accede to international conventions and covenants on human rights, as well as making recommendations on national legislation related to the protection and promotion of human rights culture. The Committee pointed out that the State of Qatar exerts great efforts to combat contemporary forms of racism through its commitments to implement the Durban Declaration and Program of Action in the context of spreading human rights awareness, and establishing a culture of tolerance and peace.
The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance is an independent human rights expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, and has been mandated to focus on Incidents of contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination against Africans and people of African descent, Arabs, Asians and people of Asian descent, migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, persons belonging to minorities and indigenous peoples, as well as other victims included in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA).
HE Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions, Secretary General of the alliance has affirmed his commitment to continue exerting every effort to make the Global Alliance stronger and more effective in its relationship with national human rights institutions to achieve the overarching goal of protecting human rights throughout the world.
His Excellency noted that the Global Alliance had come a long way in the past ten years and had been recognized internationally, and many achievements had been made, which had enabled it to become the main interface of national human rights institutions at the global level, and speak with one voice on behalf of its members.
This came during the participation of HE Dr. Al Marri in the annual meeting of the Office of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions in Colombia on November ,20, 21 and 22 for the first time since his election as Secretary-General and Deputy Chairman of the Global Alliance.
The National Human Rights in the State of Qatar (NHRC) has won the confidence of 120 national human rights institutions across the world to assume leadership positions in the global coalition, where HE Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri unanimously elected to the positions of Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, and member of the Executive Office of the Alliance National Human Rights Institutions.
Dr. Mohammed bin Saif Al-Kuwari, Deputy Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) was selected to serve as a member of the Board of Elders of the Asia-Pacific Forum in accordance with the election results held on the sidelines of the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions, hosted by Hong Kong, China on September 18 and 19, 2018.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Office of the Global Alliance of NHRIs in Colombian city of Medellin, HE Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri praised the hosting of this historic event, expressing appreciation to the commitment of the members of the Global Alliance of NHRIs for their continued commitment and will to make the organization more participatory, more representative and more powerful than ever.
He also appreciated the support of UNDP partners, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and their long-term partnership with the Global Alliance for the Protection of Human Rights worldwide, along with the appreciation of the efforts of United Nations Headquarters in Geneva to support the necessary cooperation and synergy between the Office of the President and the Office of the Secretary-General in order to achieve common goals.
Dr. Al Marri said: “As the Chairman of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions has emphasized, human rights are not mere words, but are obligations to take responsibility for taking effective and concrete action. It has continuously grown to become more visible and recognized globally, and many achievements have been made thus far, and the Global Alliance has been able to become the main interface of NHRIs globally, speaking with one voice on behalf of its members.”
HE Dr. Al Marri reviewed some of the benefits and achievements of the Global Alliance, starting with the signing in May 2019 of the agreement with the European Union in relation to the second phase of the project of national human rights institutions. He noted that last June, witnessed the most prominent and very fruitful event through the 9th annual meeting of Cooperation between the three parties, namely, the United Nations Development Program and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the four regional networks of national human rights institutions to help intensify cooperation on many topics in order to continue to implement the common protocols for cooperation in cases of national human rights institutions that are under threat.
Moreover, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, through its four regional networks and national human rights institutions, is now considered a more active and key player in dialogues on global issues such as migration as recognized in the Global Migration Charter and its role has also emerged recently during the Cairo conference and the subsequent Cairo Declaration adopted two weeks ago, HE Dr. Al Marri added .
His Excellency pointed out that a great deal of work had been done successfully in recent months by the members of the Alliance and through its offices and under the leadership of its adviser Mrs. Luna Lindhout, reflecting the expectations, mission and vision of the Alliance in addition to its values with respect to the coming years in the plan for the new strategy of the Global Alliance, noting that numerous constructive and valuable discussions will be held in the coming days to strengthen this plan.
His Excellency stressed that in order to strengthen our role in collecting and representing different voices from the lowest levels to the global levels and implementing the global vision at the local level, a larger network of national human rights institutions had been established that complies with the principles set out in the Paris Convention. The breakthrough in recent months shows not only how the Global Alliance, in partnership with external partners, had become a source of inspiration, but also how much internal coordination can be achieved of efforts is tremendous .
He concluded by noting that the meeting of the Global Alliance Office constituted the decisive steps towards building a global alliance of national institutions for the promotion of human rights commensurate with the future, expressing thanks to all for their valuable and effective discussions through these collaborative processes.
“We fully believe that our mutual support is the key to global success, and we will continue to make efforts to make the Global Alliance of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights a stronger and more effective alliance with national human rights institutions to achieve the ultimate goal, which is the protection of human rights throughout the world, HE Dr. Al Marri said.”
Last Monday, on the eve of its annual meeting in Colombia, the Office of the Global Alliance for Human Rights held a conference on migration, during which it had discussed the Global Alliance’s vision and future strategy to address the problem of migration.
The conference discussed two main items, the first related to the study of the “Marrakech World Charter”, which was adopted at the Marrakech Conference held in December 2018, and ratified by about 164 countries around the world, the conference also addressed the safe, orderly and regular migration and expresses “a collective commitment to improve cooperation in international migration”.
The agreement, published by the United Nations following its ratification in Marrakech, included 23 goals under which it seeks to better manage migration at the local, regional and international levels.
The Global Alliance for Human Rights also discussed among other issues, the outcome of the meeting of the Working Group on Migration of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions, held in Cairo on 5 and 6 November 2019, which discussed the implementation of the Marrakesh Global Charter on Migration on the ground, and the common vision of national human rights institutions on the Charter, and the opportunities and challenges that migration raises.
After three days of discussions, the Global Alliance meeting presented the updated version of the approved Strategic Plan and presented the final conclusions and remarks by HE Chair of the Global Alliance Carlos Alfonso Negrete Mosquera.
The NHRC concluded at its headquarters the educational lectures targeting 73 new legal researchers at the Ministry of Justice in the framework of the joint cooperation between the Committee and the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Ministry, during the period from 17 November to 20 November 2019. The schedule was based on four lectures presented by the experts of the National Human Rights Committee to four different groups of legal researchers. The first lecture dealt with human rights: origin, development, sources and standards. The second lecture reviewed Contractual and non-contractual mechanisms of protecting international human rights. The third lecture dealt with a definition of IHL, its mechanisms, sources and challenges, and another definition of customary IHL. The fourth lecture dealt with the mechanisms of national protection of human rights.
In the same context, the experts of the NHRC provided a comprehensive introduction about the National Human Rights Committee, its mission, legal nature, main objectives, and terms of reference. The experts of the Committee also provided a detailed explanation of the national mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights and their division into governmental mechanisms such as the judiciary, parliament and diplomatic protection abroad for citizens, non-governmental mechanisms such as civil society and other institutions and mechanisms of national human rights institutions that have a special legal nature. The mechanism of Parliament and a course in the protection of human rights were explained in both legislative and supervisory aspects. The lecture dealt with the term and definition of human rights and the factors behind the emergence of the concept of human rights and the reasons for universal interest, characteristics and divisions, as well as explaining the fundamental freedoms and the concept of the International Bill of Human Rights and the main human rights treaties.Read More
Dr. Mohamed bin Saif Al-Kuwari met the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office Barbel Kofler and her accompanying delegation. During the meeting, a presentation was held on the NHRC’s role in protecting and promoting human rights, especially with regard to the rights of children and women. The meeting was attended by Assistant Secretary-General of the NHRC, Mr. Sultan bin Hassan Al-Jamali and a number of directors of departments and legal experts of the Committee.
The meeting discussed the role of the committee in spreading the culture of human rights in Qatar and the NHRC’s five-year strategy that includes awareness lectures and programmes for workers and employers, in addition to establishing expat committees in the NHRC to facilitate the handling of complaints, including the 24/7 hotline.
The meeting aslo addressed the role of the reception and registration department in the Legal Affairs Department, which provides free legal advice, in addition to receiving complaints and petitions. As part of its awareness-raising and educational mission, the officials said that the Committee is distributing leaflets and brochures in vital institutions in the country, including labour booklet, which addresses rights and duties of workers for all groups (available in 10 languages).Read More
Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri has revealed that a new report will be released at the beginning of next year to expose the continued violations by the UAE of the International Court of Justice’s order for the second consecutive year since the beginning of the blockade.
Dr. Al Marri said that we expect a strong condemnation of the UAE and a demand for compensation for victims of racial discrimination, pointing out that the complaints filed by Qatar will show the crimes of racial discrimination committed by the UAE against the people of Qatar. This came during a hearing at the European Parliament headquarters in the Belgian capital Brussels which is the first of its kind to be held in the European Parliament after the election of its new members, especially in the Subcommittee on Human Rights amid the presence of prominent media reporters and media accredited to the European Parliament.
At the outset of his speech, Al Marri extended thanks to the Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights Maria Arena, for her keenness and support for the NHRC work, and for renewing the agreement between the NHRC and the European Parliament. Al Marri also briefed MPs on the human rights situation and the most important developments and challenges in the State of Qatar.
In this context, Dr. Al Marri presented an overview on the main challenges facing human rights in Qatar, particularly with regard to the development witnessed in laws and legislations related to the rights of workers, after the abolition of the sponsorship (Kafala system), in a precedent of its kind in the GCC region, and the progress achieved by the State of Qatar at the level of mechanisms, in particular the establishment of a committee to settle labor disputes and the establishment of the Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund, in addition to the strong partnership with the International Labor Organization, which culminated in the opening of the first office in the Gulf, as well as the strong partnership with the International Trade Union Confederation.
Dr. Al Marri also drew attention to the continuous visits of governmental and non-governmental organizations to Qatar, referring in this context to the visit of a delegation from the International Trade Union Confederation and the visit of a delegation of The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, at the invitation of the State of Qatar.
During the hearing, Dr. Al Marri addressed the repercussions of the blockade crisis and the continued violations, and the importance of continuing the judicial and legal procedures of the international arbitration bodies, international courts and the United Nations contractual mechanisms, to stop violations of the blockading states, and redress the victims.
Dr. Al Marri added that on the day we celebrate the anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall, another wall was built by four countries in 2017, to impose a blockade on the people of Qatar and the Gulf peoples, where the blockade of Qatar continues for more than 3 years with its serious humanitarian repercussions on the Gulf peoples, and the suffering of children and women as a result of the separation of families.
Dr. Al Marri welcomed the decision of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva on the admissibility of the two complaints in terms of jurisdiction submitted by the State of Qatar, and added that the complaints will demonstrate to the world the crimes of racial discrimination committed by the UAE against the Qatari people, and we believe that there will be a strong condemnation of the UAE and a demand to compensate victims of racial discrimination.
Dr Al Marri called on the European Parliament to assume its responsibilities and take prompt decisions condemning the violations of the blockade countries against citizens and residents of the State of Qatar, and determine their international responsibilities, and that the European Parliament triumph over the principles for which it was founded. Al Marri also called upon the European Parliament to urge EU governments to put pressure on the blockade countries to stop human rights violations, stressing that the NHRC shall continue its efforts and moves with international mechanisms to stop violations and redress the victims.
In response to deputies’ inquiries about concerns raised about the condition of workers in Qatar, in parallel with its preparations for the World Cup 2022, and the role of the NHRC in the protection of workers employed in the facilities of the World Cup, Dr. al Marri said that the organization of the World Cup in Qatar provided Qatar with a great opportunity to develop the human rights situation not only in Qatar, but in the whole region, and as for the role of the NHRC, we do not only pay attention to the rights of workers in World Cup facilities, but we also attach great importance to the protection of the human rights in general and the commitment of the Government of the State of Qatar to implement its commitments in this regard.
At the end of the session, the Chairperson of the Committee of the Arabian Peninsula in the European Parliament Hannah Neuwmann, praised the work of the NHRC in the State of Qatar which provides an example for other national human rights institutions in their approach and keenness to dialogue, and their continued cooperation and distinguished presence in the European Parliament.
At the end of the hearing, Dr. Al Marri concluded his speech by inviting the European Parliament’s deputies and human rights officials to visit the NHRC in Doha, in order to enhance cooperation and exchange of experiences, and investigate the impact of the blockade imposed on Qatar, and to hear the testimony of the people affected by violations resulting from the blockade for the third consecutive year.
In a press statement on the sidelines of the hearing, Dr. Al Marri said that the European Parliament members are committed to defending all victims of human rights violations wherever they are in the world, including victims of violations caused by the blockade of Qatar. Al Marri concluded his visit with meeting Director General of Gulf and Middle East and North Africa programme at the European Commission’s External Action Authority Gabriel Vinals and Deputy Head of Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and Regional Policies, European External Action Service (EEAS), Marco Morettini.Read More
A seminar organized by the National Human Rights Committee in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior highlighted the efforts of the State of Qatar in protecting human rights, especially the national mechanisms in this regard, and its pioneering experience in light of the national legal system and international mechanisms and conventions. The seminar titled “National Human Rights Protection Mechanisms… Experiences and Data” was held on the occasion of the Qatari Human Rights Day, which falls on November 11 of each year, and in the context of the technical framework of cooperation between the National Human Rights Committee and the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior.
In his opening remarks, Assistant Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Committee, Mr. Sultan Bin Hassan Al-Jamali said that the protection of human rights is a national responsibility, as stated in the UN Charter, which reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person.
Al Jamali stressed that the State of Qatar, since its accession to international policies and conventions concerned with the protection and promotion of human rights, has been working to translate the requirements of these conventions in its domestic legislation and policies and to create another legislative human rights momentum inspired by the human rights balance provided by our true Islamic religion and supports its national commitment to human rights. Al Jamali added that Qatar’s accession to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights reinforces this national commitment. Al-Jamali pointed out that the National Human Rights Committee is one of the leading national reference institutions for human rights in the country and works in parallel with other relevant national mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights at the national level.
For his part, Assistant Director of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior Colonel Saad Salem Al Dosari said that human rights in the State of Qatar have become a constant strategic choice guiding the action of the State and society, and that the provision of guarantees necessary for their implementation has become an integral part of the requirements of the state of institutions, the support of the rule of law and good governance. Al Dosari added that this could be seen in the incorporation of ‘human rights’ into the Constitution, the National Vision 2030, the system of legislative instruments, the package of programs, projects and creative initiatives in favor of civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights. Al Dosari praised the effective partnership and the joint action between the Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Interior and the NHRC in the areas of handling complaints and petitions of the public, commenting on the relevant draft laws and monitoring the human rights situation and others, adding that this partnership comes within the frame work of cooperation that was signed between the two parties in March 2018 and included vital topics related to exchange of publications and experiences, knowledge production, capacity building and awareness, and openness regionally and internationally and others. Colonel Al Dossari pointed out that this year witnessed joint scientific and awareness initiatives by the Human Rights Department and the NHRC on the occasion of International Women’s Day and the Arab Human Rights Day, while appreciating the role of the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordinating the efforts of the concerned authorities in the country to present the national performance in the field of human rights to the international community led by the United Nations, and the great effort of the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region in strengthening national human rights capacities
For his part, Sheikh Mohammed bin Yousef Al-Thani, Assistant Director of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the promotion and protection of human rights is a strategic choice as it forms the backbone of the policy of comprehensive reform and is at the top of the priorities of the State of Qatar, pointed out that it was emphasized in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and in the development strategies emanating from that vision, which included important aspects for key human rights issues in the fields of education, health, environment, expat labor rights, women’s empowerment and children’s rights.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Yousef Al-Thani noted that the State’s interest in promoting human rights was most evident in its accession last year to international covenants on human rights, ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ and in strengthening the legislative and institutional structure as well as its commitment to submit and discuss its reports to UN human rights monitoring mechanisms.
Director of the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region Dr. Abdel Salam Sidahmed praised the continuous cooperation between the Center and the NHRC and the Department of Human Rights at the Ministry of Interior through joint training activities. Dr. Abdel Salam Sidahmed also praised the joint efforts that resulted in the organization of this symposium on strengthening human rights mechanisms, stressing the importance of a mechanism for the national protection of human rights, especially among law enforcement agencies and emphasizing the independence of the judiciary.Read More
Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, Chairman of Qatar National Human Rights Committee met at the committee’s headquarters with HE Chairman of the National Bureau for Human Rights of the State of Kuwait, Ambassador Jassim Mubarak Al Mubaraki and his accompanying delegation; in the presence of HE Mr. Hafeez Mohammed Al-Ajmi, Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the State of Qatar. The meeting discussed with means of cooperation in issues of mutual interest and exchange of experiences and expertise. The meeting also discussed the possibility of signing an agreement of understanding aiming at strengthening and protecting the close relations between the two parties in the fields of human rights.
It is worth mentioning that the National Human Rights Committee has previous experiences in the process of cooperation with the State of Kuwait in spreading and establishing a culture of human rights, including the joint organization of a training course for Kuwaiti diplomats in December 2014, and The joint organization of a second training course in Kuwait for the benefit of the Kuwaiti Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior in March 2015 under the Title: (The optimal framework for how to deal with human rights issues through the use of appropriate international and regional mechanisms) as well as the organization of the Exhibition of Islamic Culture in Human Rights in Kuwait by the NHRC, within the framework of regional cooperation with the aim To raise awareness and education in the field of human rights, promote the partnership between the NHRC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait and strengthen the strong relations between the two sides in the field of human rights. This meeting also coincides with the celebration of the State of Kuwait and the Gulf society with the fifth anniversary of the UN designation of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah “Leader of Humanitarian Action”.Read More
The National Human Rights Committee (NCHR) received a delegation from Qatar-France Friendship Society. The Vice-Chairpman of the Committee welcomed the French delegation.
The meeting dealt with a number of human rights issues, including the efforts of the National Human Rights Committee to protect and promote workers’ rights. The Committee officials also responded to the delegation’s inquiries about the role of the committee in spreading the culture of human rights in the country. It was reported that the Committee had a five-year strategic plan, which included the organization of lectures and programs targeting workers and employers in a number of places where workers were present. The Committee officials also pointed out that as part of its awareness-raising and educational mission, the Committee distributes brochures and booklets, which contains information on rights and duties of workers translated into 10 languages. In addition, the delegation was briefed on the committee’s offices which were set up to facilitate the handling of complaints, besides a 24-hour hotline and the role of the Reception and Registration Department of the Legal Affairs Department, which provides free legal advice as well as receiving complaints and petitions.Read More