As part of International Labour Day observance, Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior received a number of heads and representatives of communities living in Qatar such as Egyptian, Sudanese, Yemen, Sri Lankan, Bangladesh, Filipino, Indonesian, Nepalese and Indian communities.
The representatives met with Lieutenant Colonel Saad Salem Al Dosari, Assistant Director of Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Interior. Al Dosari welcomed the heads of communities living in Qatar on the occasion of the International Labour Day which falls on the first of May each year, as celebrations embody official and popular appreciation for the role of workers in building Qatar and in its growth and development.
According to Al Dosari, expatriate workers in Qatar enjoy various forms of care including economic, social and health care as well as legal and security protection by the virtue of Constitution, Article 30, which states that ‘the relationship between workers and employers be founded on social justice and regulated by law’ and Article 52 that states ‘Every legitimate resident of the country is entitled for the protection for his personality and his property according to the provisions of the law.’
These constitutional principles have been embodied through legal and institutional frameworks as evident in labor law that applies the principle of equality for Qatari and expatriate workers in rights and obligations in the areas of wages, hours of work, leave, end of service benefits and compensation for work-related injuries and others. There are many institutions concerned with the protection of migrant workers’ rights such as the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, judiciary and the National Commission for Human Rights.
In regards to the Ministry of Interior, Al Dosari stated there is security protection provided to the expatriate workers on par with citizens on the basis of its inherent jurisdiction to ensure security, peace, crime prevention and control and to maintain public order. Concerned MoI Departments such as Traffic, Civil Defence, Immigration and Rescue provides the services to the expatriates on the same level.
In addition to its legal, awareness, control and social roles Human Rights Department also deals with complaints regarding the relationship between worker and the employer. These cases are dealt with based on equality, justice, legality and simplicity of the procedures in accordance with Labour law and Residence Law. Residence Law consists of many clauses in favour of expatriate workers as it permit permanent sponsorship change in case of proved abuse from the employer and temporary sponsorship change in case there is pending cased or petition in front the of the court. The law also protects the worker from human trafficking by making it illegal to handover the employee to other employers in any form. The Law also compels the employer to handover employee’s passport to himself once the residence permit procedures are completed to avoid any type illegal control over the employee.
The head of Egyptian community, Dr Mohammed Najjar, talked on behalf of the communities and he lauded State of Qatar for its care and concern for the expatriates living in this country. He added that during his long residence in Qatar, he never experienced any discrimination as the citizens and expatriates are enjoying all rights and freedom and Qatari law never discriminates based on nationality, ethnicity or religion and every one considered equal in front of the law. According to Najjar, when he was working in the medical field, he never saw any discrimination between people in the healthcare industry.
Legal Consultant at Human Rights Department, Dr Osama Thabit Alousi, explained the community heads on Qatar National Vision 2030 on the building of a just and secure society based on high moral, social welfare and the promotion of the spirit of tolerance and constructive dialogue and openness to other cultures in line with its Arab and Islamic identity. According to Alousi, the philosophy of the Qatari police work has made social and cultural integration of the population and attention to the concerns and needs of migrant communities’ issues on what they are of cultural, ethnic and religious diversity at the core orientation of the security work in the overall strategy of the Interior Ministry.