The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) marked Qatar Human Rights Day, which falls on November 11 each year and coincides with the 18th anniversary of its founding. The NHRC celebrated the frontline volunteers and health leaderships who contributed to the work during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in recognition and gratitude for their efforts in confronting this pandemic.
NHRC Secretary-General Mariam Abdullah al-Attiyah said the celebration of this occasion highlights the accomplishments achieved by Qatar in promoting human rights, and renews the commitment to supporting the efforts towards more achievements and continuing the pace of reforms and development in the legislative system that enhances the rights of citizens and residents alike, which made Qatar take the lead in the protection and development of human rights in the region, with the testimony of the international community and many international organisations.
She underlined the keenness of the National Human Rights Committee on making this annual celebration a station for evaluating the achievements in the field of human rights, and an opportunity to support the development of the human rights system in the country through the efforts and recommendations the Committee submits through its various periodic reports to the Qatari government.
She praised the efforts of the volunteers who formed the "front line of defence" in the face of the coronavirus in the country, noting that the NHRC was keen to be present in the field, and to organise field trips to educate the citizens and residents about this disease and the importance of preserving health.
She stated that celebrating Qatar Human Rights Day represents an opportunity to emphasise the achievements has been made by a country to develop and protect human rights, especially the series of laws and legislations it has adopted to develop human rights, including laws concerned with improving work and residence conditions for expatriates. She noted the NHRC welcome of Law No. (17) of 2020 issued by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, regarding the minimum wage for workers and domestic workers, in addition to Decree Law No. (19) of 2020 amending the provisions of Law No. (21) of 2015 on regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates, considering these measures a "milestone in the history of employment in the region, so that Qatar takes the lead in adopting the non-discriminatory minimum wage in the region."
She added that these decisions are a true indication that Qatar is proceeding steadily towards preserving the rights of workers and taking care of them in line with its international, regional and national commitments. In addition, these decisions and reforms come in the context of improving the living conditions of workers in Qatar, showing respect and promoting the basic principles of human rights.
She indicated that the hierarchy of reforms undertaken by the State have had a significant impact in reducing workers' rights violations, noting Qatar's accession to many international agreements and conventions, including accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, which reflected positively on Qatar's national strategies, policies and laws, most notably Qatar National Vision 2030, which included a package of reforms based on human rights.
In addition, the State adopted a policy of gradual transition from a caring approach based on providing social services that guarantee the rights of the citizens to an enabling approach that stimulates active citizenship and popular participation.
NHRC Secretary-General Mariam Abdullah al-Attiyah reiterated that Qatar has become a pioneering country in human rights in a short time, and this is reflected through the implementation of its international obligations and its firm positions on regional human rights issues, noting that the Universal Periodic Review Working Group of the Human Rights Council praised the rule of law that distinguishes the State and the steady presence of its institutions that preserve human rights.