This post was originally published on 13 May 2015 and the content may be outdated.
In a new initiative, Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) yesterday officially inaugurated a community office to serve different expatriate communities.
The community office located at the ground floor of the NHRC headquarters has four separate help desks for the Indian, Egyptian, Nepalese and Filipino communities.
Staffed by representatives and nominated by the respective embassies, the help desks would function as a facilitator between the NHRC and the expatriates who seek help.
“NHRC works on a daily basis to receive, register and follow-up on all concerns that are brought to us. We know that more can be done to obtain sources of information, reach out to those who have difficulty accessing the services available to them, whether due to working hours, transportation costs, language difficulties, legal fees or fear of raising a complaint. We hope to address such issues through this initiative,” said Saad Sultan Al Abdulla, head of International Cooperation Division at the NHRC.
The community office at NHRC was inaugurated by Judge Fawaz Al Gaatal, a member of the NHRC together with Sanjiv Arora, Indian ambassador, Leopoldo B De Jesus, Labour Attaché II, Philippine Overseas Labour Office, Embassy of the Philippines and community representatives.
Once a complaint is received at the help desk, it’s referred to legal experts at NHRC who will examine the case and guide a concerned person or help them to reach other authorities. Some cases are referred to the human rights department at the Ministry of Interior.
The help desks for the Indian and Filipino expatriate communities were functioning for more than seven months.
Helpdesk for Indians
The help desk of the Indian community has received 162 people with problems with their employers in the past seven months. The complaints differ from non-payment of salary, denial of exit permit and sponsorship change by employers.
“We receive an average of three to four complaints daily. Even today (Tuesday) there are two people waiting. We have helped so far 62 cases related to sponsorship change, for people who had been working here for four or more years, said Kareem Abdullah, the help desk coordinator for the Indian community.
Click here for contact details and map of NHRC Headquarters.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar