As part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the NHRC presented an educational lecture to the staff of Qatar Steel Company on human rights and principles and the role of the National Human Rights Committee. During the lecture, Sheikha Najwa Al-Thani, Director of International Cooperation Department of the National Human Rights committee, explained that the emergence of human rights is the result of convergence of cultures and civilizations.
Sheikha Najwa pointed out that the idea of human rights in its modern form was the result of the social and economic developments that took place in the West during the Industrial Revolution and the two world wars. At the same time, the principles of human rights were found in ancient and modern civilizations in Mesopotamia, as well as the civilizations of the pharaohs, Chinese, India, Greek and Romania where natural law and the principle of democracy arose.
The Director of the Department of International Cooperation reviewed the role of the National Human Rights Committee and its objectives and powers. Sheikha Najwa said that the committee was established in 2002 with the aim of protecting and promoting human rights, and that since its inception, the committee has been accredited by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) under status A since 2010 and reaccredited in 2015 under the same status. Furthermore, it strengthened its exercise of its terms of reference, as required by the Paris Principles. The Committee’s mandate included following up on the realization of the objectives contained in international human rights conventions to which the State was a party, recommending State accession to other conventions and studying domestic legislation and executive procedures in accordance with human rights standards, Advising and submitting recommendations to the Government, as well as receiving complaints and petitions on human rights issues in addition to conducting field visits to penal and correctional institutions, places of detention, health and education entities, and monitoring human rights conditions. Sheikha Najwa Al-Thani briefed on the cooperation between the Committee and all international organizations related to human rights, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The Committee also works to raise awareness and education about human rights and freedoms and to consolidate its principles in terms of thought and practice through training courses, media campaigns and publications.
For his part, Mr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Mahdi, Administration Division Manager at Qatar Steel, said that Qatar Steel Company, in its belief in human rights issues, participated in organizing this lecture in its headquarters in the occasion of the anniversary of International Human Rights Day. He said: “We are keen that all employees of the company are fully aware of their rights and duties, stressing at the same time that the management of the company closely follows all the requirements of employees and workers and reassurance of their conditions in terms of decent housing in compliance with the standards set by the State and provided for by human rights conventions and charters; in addition to providing full health care for all workers in Qatar Steel. Al-Mahdi called for a partnership between Qatar Steel and the National Human Rights Committee concerning education and training in various human rights issues.