Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review
For use of information media; not an official record
Date: Monday 8 February (morning)
Country under review: QATAR
Documents: national report (A/HRC/WG.6/7/QAT/1 and A/HRC/WG.6/7/QAT/1/Corr.1), compilation of UN information (A/HRC/WG.6/7/QAT/2), summary of stakeholders’ information (A/HRC/WG.6/7/QAT/3)
Troika: Hungary, Japan, Gabon
Concerned country - national report
- Represented by a 29-person delegation and headed by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud
- National report presented by H.E. Mr. Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud
- Qatar’s Constitution devotes its third chapter (articles 34 to 58) to fundamental rights and freedoms.
- Qatar established a National Human Rights Committee.
- Established the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue, devoted to spreading and promoting the culture of dialogue and peaceful coexistence.
- Established the Arab Democracy Foundation, aimed at encouraging the region to strengthen the culture of democracy.
- Established the Doha Center for Media Freedom, as a private institution of public utility.
- Accepted the request made by the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially children and women, to pay a visit to the country.
- Withdrew its general reservation to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
- Carried out partial withdrawal on its general reservation on the Convention on the Rights of the Child with regard to provisions inconsistent with Islamic law.
- Competent authorities are considering a draft law on combating human trafficking and a draft law on domestic workers.
- Considering the accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Number of States taking part in the discussion
- Member States: 31
- Observer States: 43
- No death penalties carried out last year.
- Opening of the United Nations Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South East Asia.
- Accession to various international human rights treaties (in particular, the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women).
- Efforts made to protect expatriate workers and gender equality.
Issues and questions raised
- Trafficking in persons
- Treatment of migrant workers
- Lack of government interaction with civil society
- Protection of women’s and children’s rights
- Criminalization of consensual same-sex relations
- Official moratorium on the death penalty.
- Housing rights for all.
- Ratify international covenants and treaties which have not yet been ratified, withdraw reservations to CEDAW.
- Amend or repeal laws that do not adequately protect women’s and children’s rights.
- Reinforce protection of expatriate workers.
- Guarantee the rights of migrant workers.
- Work closely with civil society.
Response of the concerned country
- Rights of women and protection of children - Accession to the CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Stronger laws against rape and gender-blind housing rights and employment salaries are examples of Qatar progress. Similarly, children under 17 are prohibited from working and there are various national centres monitoring this issue.
- Human rights education – Qatar recently opened the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South East Asia; human rights education has become a key part of existing curriculum.
- Trafficking in persons – Penal and labour laws have been expanded to include these crimes.
- Migrant labour – Constitutional protection for migrant workers and four judicial bodies created to protect worker rights. Qatar makes no distinction between a migrant and a national worker.
Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Wednesday 10 February, 12:00 – 12:30
- UPR: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRmain.aspx
- Country under review (documents submitted): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/QASession7.aspx