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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Monday 8 February (morning)

 

Country under review: QATAR

  1. 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)
  2. Troika: Hungary, Japan, Gabon

 

Concerned country - national report

  1. Represented by a 29-person delegation and headed by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud
  2. National report presented by H.E. Mr. Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud

Highlights:

  1. Qatar’s Constitution devotes its third chapter (articles 34 to 58) to fundamental rights and freedoms.
  2. Qatar established a National Human Rights Committee.
  3. Established the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue, devoted to spreading and promoting the culture of dialogue and peaceful coexistence.
  4. Established the Arab Democracy Foundation, aimed at encouraging the region to strengthen the culture of democracy.
  5. Established the Doha Center for Media Freedom, as a private institution of public utility.
  6. Accepted the request made by the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially children and women, to pay a visit to the country.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Competent authorities are considering a draft law on combating human trafficking and a draft law on domestic workers.
  10. Considering the accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

 

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  1. Member States: 31
  2. Observer States: 43

Positive achievements

  1. No death penalties carried out last year.
  2. Opening of the United Nations Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South East Asia.
  3. Accession to various international human rights treaties (in particular, the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women).
  4. Efforts made to protect expatriate workers and gender equality.

Issues and questions raised

  1. Trafficking in persons
  2. Treatment of migrant workers
  3. Lack of government interaction with civil society
  4. Protection of women’s and children’s rights
  5. Criminalization of consensual same-sex relations

Recommendations

  1. Official moratorium on the death penalty.
  2. Housing rights for all.
  3. Ratify international covenants and treaties which have not yet been ratified, withdraw reservations to CEDAW.
  4. Amend or repeal laws that do not adequately protect women’s and children’s rights.
  5. Reinforce protection of expatriate workers.
  6. Guarantee the rights of migrant workers.
  7. Work closely with civil society.

Response of the concerned country

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Trafficking in persons – Penal and labour laws have been expanded to include these crimes. 
  4. 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

More information

  1. UPR: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRmain.aspx
  2. Country under review (documents submitted): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/QASession7.aspx

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