The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) of Qatar has signed a co-operation memorandum with its Philippines counterpart, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
The memorandum was signed by HE the Chairman of NHRC Dr Ali bin Samikh al-Marri and CHR chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon.
Following the signing, HE al-Marri stressed that the memo aims at strengthening close relations between the two parties in the fields of human rights protection, especially the rights of workers from the Philippines and their families.
He added that the signing of the memorandum recognises the distinguished role played by the Filipino community in Qatar and its participation in the development process as well as the desire of the NHRC to extend the co-operation with CHR as an institution similar to it in its functions and responsibilities.
Al-Marri added that the memorandum was the culmination of previous efforts that included the opening of the office of the Philippine community at the headquarters of the NHRC, stressing his interest in working immediately to form a working group responsible for activating the terms of the agreement between the two sides.
He also expressed his hope that the two sides will work together to reduce the reasons that lead a worker to complain, calling for exploring the root cause of the problems and find solutions, whether these problems start from the Philippines or Qatar.
Al-Marri reviewed some of the legislative developments in Qatar, pointing out that these demonstrate the commitment and seriousness towards the improvement of the human rights situation, starting with the issuance of the domestic workers law, which for the first time granted rights to domestic workers after they were excluded from the labour law.
He said that this law stipulated the maximum working hours for domestic workers in a day, and entitled them to a weekly rest day in addition to paid annual leave and end of service benefits.
He added that another law was also issued to abolish exit permits for migrant workers subject to the labour law.
Al-Marri expressed his pride in signing this agreement to support Filipino workers and employees and their family members, while stressing his confidence that the working conditions in Qatar will always be better.
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