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Qatar: UN rights expert to assess racism and xenophobia during official visit

21 November 2019


GENEVA (21 November 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on racism, E. Tendayi Achiume, will undertake an official visit to Qatar from 24 November to 1 December 2019 to assess the country’s efforts to combat racism and eliminate discrimination.

During her eight-day mission, the Special Rapporteur will speak with government officials to learn more about their efforts to eradicate racial discrimination and inequality in policy and practice. She will also engage with organisations and individuals, including civil society groups and academics.

“My mission will focus on all facets of racial inequality that infringe people’s full enjoyment of their human rights. I hope that all my meetings and visits will allow me to gather a broad cross-section of perspectives on the state of racial equality in Qatar,” said Achiume, whose mission will include visits to Doha and its surrounding areas.

The Special Rapporteur will examine the experiences of individuals and groups facing racial discrimination and inequality, including non-citizens, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless people, and ethnic and religious minorities, as well as people of African and Asian descent.

“I will pay attention to structural forms of discrimination and exclusion, and I expect to collect information about incidents of explicit racism and related intolerance in the country. Discrimination against migrant workers will also be an important focus” said Achiume.

“I look forward to hearing from migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, women, people deprived of liberty, and others who experience multiple forms of discrimination.”

The Special Rapporteur will share her preliminary observations and recommendations at a press conference on Sunday 1 December 2019 at 13:30 local time, at Hotel Intercontinental Doha the City, West Bay, Qatar.  Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

Achiume will submit a full report of her visit to the UN Human Rights Council in July 2020.


Ms E. Tendayi Achiume (Zambia) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in September 2017. Ms Achiume is currently a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, and a research associate of the African Center for Migration and Society (ACMS), at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Qatar

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
In Qatar (during the visit): Ms Kellie Shandra Ognimba (+ 41 22 917 9645 / [email protected]), or Ms Netsanet Tesfay (+41 22 917 9836 / [email protected]).

In Geneva (before and after the visit): Ms Minkyong Kim (+41 22 917 8876 / [email protected]) or write to [email protected].

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact:
Mr. Jeremy Laurence (+41 22 917 9383 / [email protected])

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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