Doha – 16 December 2020
the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri underlined that the National Day is an occasion that reminds of the efforts exerted by the Founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani in order to develop the state and its human resources, adding that Sheikh Jassim laid down the foundations for establishing a state characterized by moderation and balance in all issues, whether at the national level, or at the regional and international levels, enabling Qatar to become one of the mediation actors in many conflicts.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Dr. Ali bin Samikh al-Marri said that the people of Qatar see this day as a national platform to build on strengths and address weaknesses in accordance with a national vision that promotes the value of the human being as the main focus for preserving a civilization that has perpetuated the meaning of rights and duties. The NHRC chairman noted that since the announcement of the coronavirus as a global pandemic, the National Human Rights Committee has carried out its humanitarian duty, within the framework of its legal responsibilities and the exercise of its competencies in accordance with the law of its establishment, and in accordance with the Paris Principles. The NHRC launched a hotline to provide legal advice to ensure the continuation of its services within the framework of the precautionary measures adopted to prevent the spread of the pandemic among members of society. The Committee also sought to communicate with government and non-governmental authorities in order to address the challenges and help complainants. the NHRC issued a statement on the measures to confront the outbreak of the coronavirus, through which it expressed the need for concerted efforts by the government and all groups of the society in giving priority to the right to health for all and respect human rights without discrimination. The statement also urged the competent authorities to move forward with its measures expand the response to confront this pandemic, provided that these measures are in line with human rights standards. In the same context, the NHRC formed the “Field Visits and Monitoring sub-Committee” to conduct field visits to places designated for quarantine, places of detention and labor accommodation in order to assess the humanitarian conditions and precautionary measures, as well as awareness and education sub-committee to ensure that the target groups acquire the information needed for protection against the pandemic. Dr. Al Marri noted that The NHRC monitored all the measures adopted by the state in this regard and noticed the great efforts made and are still being made by the medical teams on the front lines to contain and control this pandemic.
Al Marri added that the state faced many challenges in the past period, however it created great opportunities to confront these challenges by promoting many rights, including joining the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in addition to adopting a series of reforms and legislative developments in the Qatari Labor Law, and hosting many United Nations offices and special rapporteurs in 2020, which confirms the State has used the challenges to further improve the protection and promotion of human rights. The NHRC also paid visits to the quarantine centers designated to receive workers in order to assess the humanitarian conditions, and similar visits to quarantine hotels, workers accommodation and the Industrial Zone.
On the achievements of the National Human Rights Committee, Dr. Al-Marri affirmed the keenness on achieving the goals of the National Vision 2030 which aims at transforming Qatar into an advanced country capable of achieving sustainable development goals, noting that national human rights institutions are among the most important bodies that monitor the extent to which States were fulfilling their obligations in the fields of human rights, and promote the commitment of states to those rights. With regard to the international co-operation, Dr. Al Marri said that the Committee has previously assumed the chair of the International Accreditation Committee of the Alliance which is specialized in accrediting national human rights institutions. The NHRC held the first president of the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions and hosts its permanent headquarters. By 2021, the NHRC will assume the presidency of the Arab Network again. The Committee also hosts the permanent headquarters of the APF office, and is still working to expand a network of international and regional partnerships despite the current health challenges represented by the coronavirus pandemic by developing communication mechanisms.
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