The NHRC, represented by the NHRC chairman Dr. Ali Al Marri, participated in the nineteenth session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group held in Geneva; where the Human Rights Council commended efforts exerted by the State of Qatar in the field of human rights protection and development in the field of economic and social rights. The UPR report also revealed real developments carried out by the State of Qatar in connection with its commitment to the application of the recommendations made by the UPR in 2010, especially in the field of the rights of persons with disabilities and the rights of the child.
The NHRC referred in the shadow report to the State of Qatar endeavors for further legislative developments in the field of human rights pointing out that the package of growing economic and social developments, including issuing health and education laws, and social health insurance law, in addition to drafting important legislations that will be issued in the near future, such as the election and media law and domestic workers law.
Rights of women was also referred to in the report; this issue is one of the most important issue listed in the agenda of the NHRC. The report pointed out that most critical obstacles facing women are the belief that the advancement of women is the responsibility of government agencies only, absence of NGOs concerned with women’s affairs, it also indicated that legislative development in this regard requires integrating official efforts and civil society organizations.
The Committee made several recommendations including the need to achieve equality between men and women in connection with granting citizenship to children of Qatari women married to foreigners, reviewing family legislation, drafting a law for the protection from family violence, the need for issuing a law regulating the rights of domestic workers, improving housing conditions for workers, finding an alternative system to the sponsorship system that ensures rights of both parties (employers – employees), paying better wages for workers, reconsidering some reservations on CEDAW, the need to create and establish a women’s associations, expanding the representation of women in decision-making places, especially parliamentary involvement, and urging the government on the importance of ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The report concluded in reviewing the Stat’s obligations to implement recommendations of the UPR including those accepted by the state, other recommendations announced as implemented or those in the process of implementation.
It is noteworthy that the participation of the NHRC in the UPR mechanism is one of the most important missions of the NHRC where the review is based on objective reliable information relating to the fulfillment of obligations and commitments in the field of human rights.