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Workers' rights will be protected: Al Marri

4 May 17

The Peninsula

A number of challenges being faced by migrant workers in Qatar start with the recruitment processes from their countries of origin and Qatar has established relations with labour and trade unions to tackle these challenges, said Dr Ali bin Samikh Al Marri, Chairman of National Human Rights Committee (NHRC).

Dr Al Marri was speaking at a seminar organised by NHRC in cooperation with the European-Qatari Friendship Association in the European Parliament and the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the European Union in Brussels. The seminar was attended by a considerable number of representatives of Arab and European missions at the European Union.

In his paper “The role of national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights protection”, Dr Al Marri shed light on the draft law on domestic workers which has been approved by the cabinet and the law included specification of working hours, weekly off and many provisions protecting the rights of domestic helps. The government issued law ending the Kafala system to ease expatriate workers job changes, end exit permit and established grievance committee to settle dispute over exit of exasperate workers.

The QNHRC cooperate with all international organizations including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch and has created links with labour trade unions for whom field visits were organised, said Al Marri. Al Marri reviewed the legislative and institutional developments of QNHRC and presenting Qatar as an example.

Database on persons with disabilities being prepared

Highlighting the legislative and institutional development of human rights institutions in Qatar, Dr Al Marri (pictured) said that in the field of the rights of persons with disabilities, for example, the competent authorities in the country are currently preparing a central database called "National Registry of Persons with Disabilities and Adoption of Building and Road Standards for Persons with Disabilities".

The QNHRC continues to implement the Convention on Persons with Disabilities through three stages including holding meetings with the persons with disabilities and their families as well with concerned government entities. The second phase is establishment of guidance principles for establishing of around six semi-voluntary task-forces and the last stage is activation of the role of media in raising awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities. These stages will be followed by assessment workshop to find out whether the plans has achieved its major aims or not.

Dr Al Marri also touched on several topics related to the protection of the rights of children and proposed ban of children from participating in camel races. Al Marri pointed out that all children in Qatar enjoy the right to education at a time when women's rights have also grown in the past two decades.

The NHRC conducts field visits to penal and correctional institutions, places of detention, labor gatherings, health and education facilities to monitor human rights conditions.

He also emphasized the Committee's cooperation with all international organizations related to human rights, as well as the bridges of cooperation with the relevant international trade unions.

The international and regional audience praised the achievements of the State of Qatar, especially with regard to the legislative developments in the field of expatriate workers and the fundamental reforms that have reflected positively on the conditions of expatriate workers in the State.
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