· NHRC recommendations based on lessons learnt from complaints received;
· Economic & Architectural Boom explains increase in laborers complaints;
Doha: (NHRC-31/7/2007): H.E. NHRC secretary general, Dr. Ali Samikh al-Marry gave a wide ranging interview to the Qatari Arabic daily "al-Sharq" published on Monday 30/7/2007.
The interview in which, Dr. Ali gave answers to more than twenty questions was conducted by al-Sharq reporter Wafa Zayid. The questions dealt with a number of issues dealing with NHRC activities, procedures, complaints it receives from both citizens and expatriates-their number and categories.
The Sponsorship Law and the recommendations presented by NHRC for amending it had prominence during the interview.
In this regard, H.E. Dr. Ali, pointed out that the qualitative changes that have occurred on the local, regional and international levels since the law was first introduced and approved in 1963, necessitated the amendments now being considered.
Without indulging into details that could invoke professional liability in such a situation, H.E. only revealed that the recommendations forwarded by NHRC were based on lessons learnt from complaints NHRC has so far received adding that NHRC received 1200 complaints last year.
He described the recommendations as balanced as they take into consideration the interests of both the sponsor and the sponsored parties. However, H.E. singled out a recommendation calling for speeding up Labour dispute hearings as the NHRC found out that such hearings are often unnecessarily delayed.
The NHRC secretary general also highlighted another recommendation calling for reorganizing employer-employee relationship in as far as issues related to change of sponsor, exit permit and freedom of changing one job for another are concerned-issues, Dr. Al-Marry added, that violate individual freedoms and rights.
In response to a question on Human Rights violations in Qatar by journalist, Wafa, H.E. said that there were no such violations in the real sense of the word in Qatar; rather individual misconduct related to unawareness or lack of knowledge of Human rights or culture.
In response to another question, H.E. denied that citizens find it culturally embarrassing to come forward with complaints of Human Rights violations to the NHRC, which according to the journalist, explained why most cases being considered by NHRC are generated by expatriates and not citizens.
H.E. further explained that many citizens came forward with complaints related to issues of nationality, Housing, Health and education. As to the growing number of expatriate complaints, especially amongst laborers, H.E. said that was related to the economic, population and architectural boom the country is witnessing.
Click below for "The Peninsula" version of the interview:
Rights Panel Hopes New Law be Labor-Friendly