Doha on November 11
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.