Qatar attaches special importance to the provision of adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living for both citizens and residents, said Noemi Mohamed al-Hajri, legal researcher at the Foreign Ministry’s Human Rights Department.
He was addressing the 28th session of the Human Rights Council Item (3): Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living.
Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, is working to provide adequate and decent housing for all and had issued Housing Law No 2 of 2007, which regulates access to adequate housing, he said, adding that the law covers all segments of the society.
Al-Hajri said the law regulated the right to housing, including housing loan for those whose financial resources enable them to repay the value of the loan, and housing for the needy who are covered by the social security scheme, adding that the Housing Law featured several other benefits such as comfortable long-term repayment of instalments, allocation of free-of-charge plot of land intended for building and the provision of free basic services such as electricity and water, among others.
Regarding expatriate workers, al-Hajri pointed out that the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs issued ministerial decision No 18 of 2014 to determine the requirements and specifications of adequate housing for the workers, adding that this decision guaranteed all specifications related to the provision of decent housing for expatriate workers in accordance with internationally recognised standards, and specified the minimum health requirements for worker accommodation.
It is subject to regular inspection through surprise raids conducted by the labour inspection department in the ministry, he said, pointing out that the government is currently building several residential sites that meet these requirements.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Environment, National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), Qatar Chamber, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning co-ordinated to issue guideline for adequate housing requirements, al-Hajri said, adding that they agreed that representatives of the NHRC and the ministry would co-ordinate in matters related to violating requirements of labour accommodation.
Concluding his speech, al-Hajri expressed Qatar’s aspirations for co-operation and dialogue with the sSpecial rapporteur on adequate housing during her upcoming visit to the country.
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