Qatar reviewed by the UPR
Tuesday, 09 February 2010 16:30


On the morning of 8 February 2010, the Working Group on the UPR reviewed the situation of human rights in Qatar. Qatar was represented by a medium-sized delegation headed by the Minster of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud. States were limited to two minutes per intervention due to the large number signed up to speak. The great majority of comments consisted of compliments and encouragement, largely focused on recent constitutional and legislative reforms. Only approximately five States provided critical comments and recommendations focused on the following issues:

  • Reform of criminal and penal law, including an immediate moratorium on capital punishment, abolishment of stoning and flogging, prohibition of all forms of corporal punishment against boys and girls, and increasing the age of criminal responsibility to 12 years old at a minimum.
  • Protection of the rights of foreign and migrant workers, including bringing domestic legislation in line with international obligations, and specifically the issue of restriction of movement for foreign workers under contract.
  • Continued domestic violence, sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children, and de facto discrimination against women in political and social life.
  • Freedom of expression, specifically freedom of the media and tight State control.
  • Encouragement to follow through with considerations to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, as well as to accede to the Optional Protocols of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention Against Torture.
  • Removing reservations to existing international human rights treaties, specifically the recently ratified Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Qatar left itself 20 minutes for responses, and only responded to comments twice during the session. The second set of responses was cut short due to time constraints, leaving approximately thirty States without an opportunity to speak.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:13
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