First Edition of National Forum on Human Rights Kicks off

First Edition of National Forum on Human Rights Kicks off By A Robin - September 13, 2022
National Forum on Human Rights

National Forum on Human Rights

The first edition of the National Forum on Human Rights (NFHR), organized by the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), kicked off Monday with the participation of several officials, ambassadors accredited to the State of Qatar and specialists.

The two-day form discusses the role of law enforcement institutions in preserving human rights during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in partnership with several state agencies, as well as state agencies' efforts within their preparations for the upcoming championship and ways to integrate sports within the human rights culture.

Over several sessions, the forum will discuss 11 working papers with the aim of spreading awareness on the human rights approach in the work of law enforcement institutions within the framework of the national efforts made to help the imminent tournament thrives and enrich the Qatari rights policies during the international tournament.

Speaking at the outset of the forum, HE Chairperson of the National Human Rights Committee Maryam bint Abdullah Al Attiyah stressed the vital role played by those entitled to enforce the law in the scope of human rights in implementation of the provisions of the Qatari constitution and the regional and international human rights conventions that the State of Qatar is a signatory to.

Her Excellency noted that the State of Qatar is about to host a highly significant and historic event during November and December 2022; the first-of-its-kind in the Arab region that is characterized by Arabic and Islamic values which affirm human dignity and rights to a noble life based on freedom, justice, equality, tolerance and respect of diversity.

Her Excellency stressed that the NHRC plans for the forum to be an annual platform for constructive national dialogue on the most significant rights issues in the State of Qatar to face the current challenges from a human rights perspective, highlighting the importance of cooperation between governmental and non-governmental agencies to pave the way for creativity and innovation through dialogue and respect of human rights.

Her Excellency pointed out that sports have currently been of global importance with the United Nations (UN) declaring it as a fundamental human right that must be respected and provided worldwide, indicating that the human rights approach necessitates that the state exert further efforts to preserve human rights.

The forum will highly consider and give recommendations on the importance of balance between respecting human rights for all participants in the activities of the World Cup, particularly the fans and the duties of law enforcement institutions to protect social peace and security, she added, noting that NHRC took the initiatives along with its academically and professionally distinguished partners and competent state agencies to offer answers to queries included in the working papers.

In a related context, Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs at the Ministry of Labor Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidli highlighted the State of Qatar's efforts to back labor and living conditions for expatriate laborers, as well as the country's latest comprehensive labor reforms aimed at supporting and preserving rights of expatriate workers and fulfilling prime labor principles and rights. He also noted that the Qatar National Vision 2030, which goes in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted the expatriate workers' rights as a priority for its political and social policies.

Addressing the forum, Al Obaidli reiterated that the job market reforms, which will bring about significant benefits for laborers, employees and the state, focused on workers as the main humanitarian pillar of production, highlighting the country's pride in relentless efforts for a brighter future for the state, employees and workers as well as the whole humanity. 

In his speech delivered at the opening ceremony, Assistant Director of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior Brigadier Saad Salem Al Dosari confirmed that convention of the forum intends to provide insight into the core aspects of the ministry's performance and the operation of the law enforcement agencies within its framework to further ensure maintaining the public order and stadiums security during the tournament. He noted that this comes in the context of preserving the human rights of the tournament audience, which would essentially strengthen the comprehensive national effort dedicated to ensuring a safe and civilized tournament. 

Within the framework of the consolidated policy of the State of Qatar under the wise leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, which is devoted to promoting and safeguarding human rights and preserving the human dignity, the Ministry of Interior highly prioritized the preservation of human rights within its preparations, security and regulatory measures for the sporting tournament, he added.

For his part, Compliance and Audit Director of the Workers' Welfare Department at Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) Mohammed Al Hajri gave a brief overview on the most important key initiatives the SC has embarked on implementing with the objective of ensuring the preservation of human rights, including the comprehensive payment plan to reimburse the recruitment fees paid by workers in their countries prior to coming to the State of Qatar. 

Al Hajri also said that service workers and the operational teams' personnel are set to undertake a vital role during the preparatory period that precedes the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament and its competitions, as the fundamental mission is to ensure their optimal care. 

In her speech during the forum's opening ceremony, Director General of UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region Dr. Abeer Jamal Al Khuraisha underscored that sports is a neutral zone that focus on the human relations of individuals, regardless of their race, religion or gender, pointing out that major sporting events have the ability to achieve several societal benefits that usually include long planning process that extends to many years of designing, preparation, equipment, construction, importation, delivery, competition and heritage. 

The World Cup matches constitute a premium example that candidly reminds people of the unifying power of sports, she added, indicating that the tournament ensures a useful background on the importance of sports, which remained the symbol of energy, adherence, skills, cooperation and respect. 

She explained that the sports sector not only count on athletes, but also on the millions of fans and those who build sports complexes and stadiums, manufacture a wide range of sporting goods and provide services and food, adding that these people are the ones who make this major sporting event possible. 

Dr. Al Khuraisha stressed the high significance of boosting cooperation with all parties concerned with sports and human rights, especially law enforcement agencies in pursuit of building the capacities, as the key objective of organizing such major global sporting events is represented in becoming a driving force in line with global human rights standards.

On the sidelines of forum's inauguration, a memorandum of understanding was signed between NHRC and Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI) with the objective of holding the joint events and boosting the cooperation in the field of training, education and researches.


By A Robin - September 13, 2022

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