Domestic dispute


Marital infidelity

Expulsion from home









Source : Ministry of the Interior .

34.The Community Policing Department operates on the basis of community partnership to maintain security on the principle of “Security is the responsibility of all”. It tries to spread a network of cooperative interactive relationships that includes families, civil society organizations, State institutions and local communities. Among its activities are the following:

•It arranges visits to women’s councils in all parts of the State, with a view to becoming acquainted with problems and issues that affect the inhabitants of each region. It submits reports on the outcomes of those visits to the appropriate parties so that they can be addressed.

•It arranges visits to men’s civic councils the same purpose.

•The Community Policing Department implements decisions emanating from family courts in its capacity as the relevant implementing authority.

35.With regard to systematic and sustained activities to raise the awareness of the general public of the criminal nature of violence against women and the possible consequences thereof, the Community Policing Department plays a notable role as follows:

•Awareness campaigns in participation with parties involved in ending violence against women;

•Training workshops for different segments of society on legal steps that should be taken in cases of abuse to ensure that women victims of violence are protected if they choose to report it;

•Awareness lectures to instil a culture the encourages battered women to report abuse.

36.The Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre provides protection and rehabilitation for groups in the State of Qatar that are vulnerable to violence, such as domestic workers. The Centre receives cases of women and children who have been victims of or been exposed to violence through various channels, including the Public Prosecutor’s Office, security centres, health agencies and cases that present directly to the Centre.

37.The Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre provides a range of support to women and children victims of violence, such as protection, rehabilitation, integrated care regardless of the nationality of the victim. That is stipulated in article 4 of the amended statute of the Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre. The Centre’s action strategy focuses on protecting vulnerable categories from violence and its ill effects, in addition to providing counselling services and comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation programmes in order to ensure integrated care for vulnerable categories. The Centre provides medical, psychological and rehabilitation services, as follows:

•Early diagnosis of psychological disorders by means of a medical examination and appropriate tests, and provision of medical and psychological assistance and care;

•Provision of a therapeutic environment that helps the beneficiary to achieve agreed goals and objectives in the treatment plan;

•Psychological therapy and rehabilitation aimed at preventing the disorder from turning into a chronic medical complaint and from developing complications;

•Placing the case in an environment which encourages the person to agree to join a long-term integrated treatment programme;

•Encouraging cases to continue to discharge both their work and family responsibilities after receiving treatment and rehabilitation; instead of isolating cases from society, enabling them to solve their own problems by themselves; and helping them to avoid being become repeat victims of violence.

38.The Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre offers an integrated rehabilitation programme, with staff that specializes in the rehabilitation of women victims of violence, aimed at ensuring their recovery and reintegration into society. The Centre provides basic care services (shelter services) by providing shelter for the protection of victims where they can enjoy recreational and quality-of-life services and sports activities, and take part in national activities and events. It also provides training and rehabilitation on a daily basis. The Centre provides follow-up and continuing care services. It provides social services by means of communication with the family and field visits to the relevant authorities and social follow-up with the individual concerned. It also provides outreach services aimed at ensuring rapid intervention and direct guidance to both children and women victims of violence in hospitals and security facilities.

The Aman Centre

39.The Aman Centre takes part in a number of measures to provide counselling, treatment and rehabilitation services for women victims of violence, including the following:

(a)Counselling services, social and psychological support, and legal services, which it provides in the following ways:

•Via telephone communication with specialists at the Centre through a dedicated 919 hotline and call centre established to facilitate reporting and the filing of complaints relating to any form of violence – psychological, physical, sexual – and access to the service regardless of nationality;

•In person at the Centre’s external offices in hospitals, security departments and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, to facilitate access to the Centre’s services;

•It also provides guidance services and referrals to the appropriate agency to help the woman resolve the problem or gain access to the appropriate services.

(b)Rehabilitation services

40.The Centre contributes to providing multi-faceted rehabilitation services – psychological, social, legal and professional – through an integrated interdisciplinary team. It provides rehabilitation services for women according to their needs, whether they are residing at the Centre’s shelter facilities or through external care provided on a daily basis.

(c)Shelter services

41.Dar al-Aman was launched to provide comprehensive services to victims of violence. Shelter services are offered that provide for quality-of-life, social and educational needs. The necessary rehabilitation services are provided for reintegration into society.

(d)Reintegration services

42.Follow-up care and continuing support services are provided for women after they have finished their temporary stay at the shelter to ensure that they are protected, reintegrated into society, and enabled to exercise the rights guaranteed to them by the State in coordination with support agencies and partners.

The Wifaq Family Counselling Centre

43.The Wifaq Centre has conducted a number of activities to strengthen family responsibility and avoid domestic disputes.

(a)Strengthening family responsibility

44.The Wifaq Family Counselling Centre provides numerous awareness-raising activities that serve implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It offers a programme on achieving a balance between work and family responsibilities is changing stereotypes about the roles of women and men in the family. That programme aims to achieve the following:

•Identify skills to optimize the balance between work and family;

•Identify proactive approaches to effective communication with a view to achieving a reasonable balance;

•Identify proactive approaches to dealing with the pressures of work to help achieve a reasonable balance;

•Identify ways that family dialogue can help to achieve work-family balance;

•Identify criteria for successful harmony between spouses.

(b)Avoiding family conflict and raising the awareness of families on the verge of conflict


45.Preventive programmes offered by the Wifaq Family Counselling Centre aim to meet unfulfilled family needs, alert vulnerable groups to problems they might encounter, demonstrate ways that families should behave when faced by certain adverse situations that the preventive programme warns against, and identify the steps that should be taken in case such problems are encountered. Several programmes fall under this category, including the following:

•Training efforts to qualify vulnerable persons in some skill. They are directed at the public outside of the Centre. Examples are: training family counsellors, training psychological specialists, or training persons about to get married.

•Outreach efforts on almost a daily basis (marital, psychological, educational, legal and sharia awareness-raising efforts) aimed at raising the awareness of the public about issues they may have to confront. People are made aware of such issues, so they will be able to think clearly about them and understand them correctly. Attention is also paid to raising public awareness about potential crises or problems, and how to avoid them. Examples include family awareness-raising or programmes to raise awareness of the risks of divorce.

•Educational efforts aimed at educating the public about certain issues. Awareness programmes focus on harmful diseases or other potential problems. People are warned against them and made aware of their dangers. Educational programmes focus on useful topics that people should be exposed to for their own benefit. They are encouraged to pursue them and made aware of the benefits. They are given ideas about how to make use of them in their family lives.

II.Treatment (interventions)

46.Services under this heading are offered to solve individual and family problems, treat psychological and social illness, confront existing problems, train vulnerable groups in approaches to treatment, make them aware of the different kinds of treatment available, show them how to find solutions to their problems, try out recommended solutions, propose new approaches and solutions to their various problems, and change their behaviour with a view to improving their lives and changing their situations. The sub-areas included are as follows:

•Psychological, social and educational counselling: this sub-area deals with modifying undesirable concepts, ideas, psychological trends and behaviours among individuals and families.

•Family reconciliation: this concerns reconciling divergent viewpoints, creating the potential for reconciliation and focusing on common ground to serve as the foundation for the reconciliation process.

•Sharia guidance: this sub-area concerns making families aware of the sharia-related family issues and the consequences of a member’s sharia issue for the rest of the family.

•Legal guidance: this sub-area is concerned with making all family members aware of their legal rights and duties and providing them with guidance on how to litigate objectively before the courts in a manner that is befitting the sanctity of the family, preserves its members’ dignity, and leaves behind some good will even in the case of a split. This is what is referred to in this study as a “peaceable divorce”.

•Guidance for cases of amicable divorce: this sub-area is concerned with family guidance for couples that have decided on divorce by mutual agreement without dispute before the courts.

47.This type of guidance is provided in three stages, which are as follows:

Stage 1: Steps are taken prior to divorce with a view to avoiding it. These include the following:

•Education and awareness-raising on the factors and causes that lead to family breakdown;

•Assistance to families in solving the problems are undergoing;

•Techniques to avoid divorce and all its consequences.

Stage 2: Guidance efforts geared towards reconciliation and not taking divorces proceedings all the way to their completion. If that is impossible, and one or both parties is determined to divorce, then guidance efforts are made to nudge them in the direction of “peaceable divorce”. The guidance process focuses on the following:

•Educational counselling for the parties to ensure that children are not used as pawns in their dispute;

•Awareness-raising about the rights of children and duties of parents in order ensure continued sharing of responsibility for them;

•Psychological rehabilitation for divorce applicants so as to prevent a psychological chasm from opening between them, to ensure constructive cooperation and the bare minimum of a civil relationship after divorce;

•Awareness-raising about the procedures for a “peaceable divorce”, should divorce become inevitable.

Stage 3: To be implemented in cases that are referred to the courts after divorce, as follows:

•Psychological preparation for both parties for their new social status following divorce;

•Making the parties aware of custody and visitation procedures;

•Psychological preparation of the child for custody and visitation procedures;

•Psychological preparation for the postponement of the implementation of custody and visitation arrangements until the child has been psychologically prepared.

III.Parental care: guidance to occur before or during dispute before the courts

48.The parental care component seeks to offer psychological and educational welfare programmes to children of divorce. It is implemented as follows:

•Psychological preparation for parents and children to avoid fallout from disputes;

•Avoidance of fallout from the divorce for parents and children;

•Clarification of the rights and obligations of both parties to the dispute, both during the dispute and after, including setting the times of visits to children in the custody of one of the parents during a period of temporary separation;

•Psychological care for the children in order to ensure psychological stability during visitation;

•Provision of visitation facilities within the Centre equipped with items and equipment to facilitate constructive interaction between parent and child, and to create a safe and calm space for visitation;

•Full supervision of the child during custody or visitation;

•Observation of the parents’ behaviour and instruction of parents during visitation to avoid anything that might affect the feelings of the child of threaten its psychological security or emotional stability;

•Design of treatment plans for children suffering from psychological distress or educational problems because of the divorce;

•Implementation of treatment plans in the day care division under the direct oversight of a competent supervisor.


49.The follow-up process aims to stabilize the new changes, maintain vigilance about the recurrence of old problems, prevent the emergence of new problems, and expand the relationships of the families and individuals with the Centre. People are advised to visit the Centre during the follow-up process. The follow-up procedures include the following:

•Following up individual cases whose treatment at the Centre is finished;

•Following up families that have completed their counselling programme;

•Following up families where the couple has been reconciled and signed a reconciliation agreement;

•Following up families that agreed to visitation outside the Centre.

Table 3. Counselling provided through the Centre categorized by type of counselling, year and end result for the 2017–2018 period





Outcome successful

Desired outcome not achieved






Marital disputes






Divorce counselling






Family conflicts






Disputes among community members






Disputes over child visitation













Marital disputes






Divorce counselling






Family conflicts






Disputes among community members






Disputes over child visitation












Source : Qatar Social Work Foundation

Note : Percentage is calculated only for cases that completed the therapy sessions. Cases that did not enter the treatment stage are excluded.

The Dreama Centre for the Care of Orphans

50.In order to contribute to the realization of human and social development in the State, the Dreama Centre for the Care of Orphans was established in 2002 to provide the necessary care to vulnerable persons whose parents are deceased or unknown, and who have been temporarily or permanently removed from a natural family environment. It also ensures that they are stable within their foster families and integrated into society. Since 2013, the Centre has operated under the umbrella of the Qatar Social Work Foundation.

51.The Centre cooperates and coordinates with ministries, public institutions and other Government agencies and civil society organizations to achieve the objectives of the Centre. It has held seminars and training sessions on topics relating to the goals and domain of the Centre. It publishes pamphlets, guides and periodicals relevant to the goals and mandate of the Centre. It obtains the required authorizations for the competent agencies to engage in activities in pursuit of its goals.

52.The Centre is one of the most important mechanisms to have been established in the State. As a private institution operating in the public interest it addresses the affairs of orphans who have been deprived of a natural family environment. It tries to provide a range of care, support and quality-of-life services to beneficiaries of both sexes. It tries to find suitable alternative environments or offer services to people who are unable to live in a family environment. It does so without discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, colour, language or religion. It always takes into account the best interest of the child.

53.The Centre has arranged a number of partnerships with relevant parties within the State and abroad to enhance the capacities and develop the skills of its personnel and provide them with training on the elimination of all forms of gender discrimination.

54.The Centre has also established a hotline to receive cases, complaints and reports from vulnerable groups, or anyone who needs to receive any of the Centre’s services. It takes in cases that need shelter, accepts application from families wishing to foster a child, and provides a range of legal, social, psychological and health services without discrimination on the basis of gender.

55.Over the past two years, it has been working on a family stability project, which is one of the basic projects through which the Dreama Centre’s social services department empowers orphans. It works with foster families to provide direct services to orphans and the families fostering them. The projects aims to achieve the following:

•Foster families, and foster mothers in particular, are helped to recognize positive qualities in themselves and the children.

•The fitness of potential foster fathers and mothers applying to be foster parents is verified, without discriminating between them, by giving each of them the same psychological tests. That serves as a basic guarantee that members of the vulnerable group will grow up in a healthy and sound family environment that ensure that they will become productive members of society.

•Mothers and fathers applying to be foster parents must, without discrimination between them, take awareness-raising courses that explain their roles, the stages of natural development of children, and their psychological needs, and train them on the basic needs of the foster child over the course of the foster period. Those are the essentials of the project.

•The project also involves evaluating the foster family (father and mother alike) as a basis for achieving the Centre’s strategic goal of minimizing the incidence of orphans returning to the Centre or having conflicts with their families. A procedure is followed for informing the child that he or she is adopted. The foster family is instructed in the suitable ways to inform the child and the appropriate timing.

•Training and educational opportunities are provided to fathers and mothers alike in the areas of foster care, foster families, protecting children from psychological crises, and raising a child in a secure and stable family environment, with a view to minimizing the severe psychological distress that a child might suffer from because of his or her harsh situation, which is the source of most family conflicts.

•Foster mothers are assisted, supported and empowered through training sessions to increase their self-esteem by helping them view themselves in a different way that would help bring about the kind of changes that can occur when a woman relies on the abilities she naturally possesses, such as her ability to build an intimate relationship with the foster child, or by learning new skills.

•Foster mothers are offered psychological support to help them carry out their tasks and roles in life and do their best by the foster child and their families.

•We believe that prevention is better than treatment. We are trying through this project to prepare the foster mother psychologically to assist her in facing and overcoming life’s pressures without them affecting her productivity in society.

•The foster mother’s capacities are strengthened so that she is able to educate her foster child and provide basic health, educational and economic services.

•She is assisted and empowered to overcome obstacles to the exercise of her natural rights, so that she can acquire self-confidence, be empowered to make decisions, and gain control over resources that will help her confront anything that obstructs her role in the development of her family and community.

•Foster parents are assisted in sharing responsibilities relating to the education and care of the foster child.

•Foster families are included in joint outreach activities for both women and men, which yields positive results.

•Systematic opportunities are provided for the family to cooperate through partnerships with institutions active in the community, which are of benefit in empowering the foster mother.

Trafficking and exploitation for prostitution

56.The State of Qatar ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime by Decree No. 15 (2009) and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish human trafficking, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and, consequently, Act No. 15 (2011) on combating human trafficking was promulgated. In that connection, the Cabinet issued Decision No. 15 (2017) establishing the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking. The Committee is chaired by the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and its membership includes a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who serves as vice-chair, and representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Public Health, the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the Government liaison office, the National Human Rights Committee and the Protection and Social Rehabilitation Centre. The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking serves as the national coordinator for the monitoring, prevention and combating of human trafficking by working with the relevant stakeholders. In order to fulfil that role, the Committee shall:

•Set out the national plan to combat human trafficking and develop programmes and mechanisms to implement it, in coordination with the relevant State authorities;

•Develop a database of international legislation relating to human trafficking, trafficking methods and relevant studies;

•Review relevant national laws and ensure that they are consistent with the international conventions and covenants that the State has ratified;

•Prepare and publish an annual report on the efforts of the State to prevent, monitor and combat human trafficking;

•Study regional and international reports on preventing, monitoring and combating human trafficking and take appropriate action in relation thereto;

•Collaborate with the competent authorities and the entities concerned with protecting and providing support to victims of human trafficking, including through the protection and rehabilitation programme, with a view to facilitating their social reintegration;

•Promote awareness of issues relating to human trafficking by organizing conferences and seminars, preparing publications, designing training courses and taking other action that can help the Committee to attain its objectives;

•Share information and experiences and strengthen ties with national Arab, regional and international organizations and committees concerned with combating human trafficking;

•Participate, together with the relevant State authorities, in international conferences and forums on human trafficking.

57.In June 2017, the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking adopted the National Plan to Combat Human Trafficking for the period 2017–2022. The Plan serves as the guiding light and foundational document of the Committee and other competent bodies in their efforts to monitor and prevent human trafficking in all its forms. The plan includes the following components: prevention, protection, prosecution, and regional and international cooperation.


58.The Office of the Public Prosecutor has begun investigating 109 cases of forced labour. It is also investigating 28 trafficking cases, including facilitation of prostitution and abusive employment practices. It should be noted that in many cases involving trafficking of women and girls, including the case of Ms. nun alif, who claims that was sexually exploited, the victim was given shelter and legal support up to the time that she travelled back to her country, having received due compensation. Prosecutors have charged 19 companies for violating various articles of the Labour Code, including non-compliance with restrictions on working hours, failure to grant a mandatory day of rest and non-payment of additional wages due.

59.In 2017, the Government continued to enforce more strictly the law prohibiting the seizure of passports; 361 cases were investigated and 53 were referred to the Office of the Public Prosecutor. The courts heard 48 such cases and imposed fines.

Legal aid

60.The Government has provided legal aid to human trafficking victims in their dealings with law enforcement agencies. The authorities are required to provide such assistance under Act No. 15 (2011) on combating human trafficking. The authorities have also helped some victims secure compensation for the harm that was done to them.


(a)Providing shelter to and reintegrating victims

61.The Government continued to use the national referral system for victims to coordinate efforts to identify victims and referrals between Government authorities and non-governmental organizations. The system covers the provision of shelter, health care and legal aid to victims of trafficking.

62.In addition, the Qatar Social Work Foundation has opened the Dar al-Aman al‑Shamil, which is part of the “Aman” Social Protection and Rehabilitation Centre, one of the entities that operates under the umbrella of the Foundation. It provides shelter and social and health services that include protection and rehabilitation services for targeted groups, inter alia victims of human trafficking. Dar al-Aman al‑Shamil is a complex of more than 30 housing units that have been equipped to provide residents with comprehensive shelter on a temporary basis as part of a carefully studied rehabilitation plan. Six of the units in the complex are specifically for trafficking victims, men and women alike, with each unit having capacity for 20 persons.

63.The overall process has four phases. The first is the reception phase, which consists of an initial evaluation of each case and a needs assessment. That is followed by the admission phase in which residents are informed of their rights and duties and of the conditions of accommodation. Next is the rehabilitation plan phase, in which a detailed framework for rehabilitation is set out. That is followed by the family reintegration phase, in which residents are returned to their natural familial and social environments. Victims always able to access the shelter, even if the employer has made accusations against them, and retain their right to leave the shelter unattended.

(b)Training and rehabilitation

64.The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking signed a memorandum of understanding with the regional office of the United Nations on Drugs and Crime to organize a number of courses and workshops for law enforcement official, judges and police officers on the hallmarks of human trafficking and the national referral system. The following sessions were organized:

•Training workshop on combating human trafficking for journalists, members of the media and mass media students from 26 to 28 February 2018. Some 25 journalists, members of the media and mass media students were trained.

•A capacity-building session on combating human trafficking was organized for the staff members of employment and labour entities. Some 25 persons were trained.

•A capacity-building session on the national system to support the victims of human trafficking was organized for the relevant agencies. Some 25 persons were trained.

65.From 2016 to the end of 2018, the Ministry of the Interior organized several courses on combating human trafficking for law enforcement officials. Below is a detailed table prepared by the Police Training Institute on training delivered. It should be noted that training will continue to be offered, depending on the needs of the security agencies.

Participation in political and public life

66.The State of Qatar wants to see women take up leadership positions and supports their involvement in the administration of the State, including the exercise of political rights, inter alia the right to vote and to stand as candidates for municipal councils, in accordance with international standards, in particular the instruments pertaining to women that Qatar has ratified, the most important of which is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

67.Qatari women have held several senior leadership positions and other leadership and supervisory positions at the State level. Women have held ministerial positions in the Ministries of Health, Education and Information Systems, and they have served as deputy ministers, assistant ministers and department heads in ministries and other government agencies. They have also served as judges, chief prosecutors and prosecutors (see the reply under article 8 in the report of Qatar).

68.With regard to when the Shura Council elections will be held, ministerial committees are currently making preparations for those elections, as His Highness the Amir stated at the opening of the forty-seventh session of that Council. No date has yet been set.

69.The Committee posed questions regarding the low number of women candidates in municipal council elections and what measures have been taken to ensure that sufficient funding is available to women who are campaigning and to raise awareness of the importance of the participation of women in elections. We would like to stress that men and women are free to nominate themselves and that there are no restrictions in respect of the nomination of women as candidates for membership of municipal councils. In other words, there is no discrimination on the basis of sex with respect to right to be nominated as a candidate. The number of women candidates depends on the desire of the individual to be nominated. The Elections Department of the Ministry of the Interior is raising awareness of the importance of women’s participation in the electoral process by delivering lectures on the matter at universities and to various social groups.

70.The following tables provide statistics on the number of Qatari women working in the Ministry of the Interior:

Table 4. Women employed by the Ministry broken down by job type (up to 2018)

Type of post



Commissioned officer

Non-commissioned officer




3 705



3 705

4 684

Source : Ministry of the Interior .

Table 5. Women employed by the Ministry broken down by occupational category (up to and including 2018)

Job type


Department head (decision-maker)


Specialized posts


Office posts

3 097

Technical posts


Field posts


Support posts


Military posts



4 684

Source : Ministry of the Interior .

Civil society and non-governmental organizations

71.The State of Qatar does everything it can to facilitate the establishment and operation of private associations and institutions, provided that this is done in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 12 (2004).


72.With regard to the question concerning the discrepancy between the number of men and women enrolled in banking studies and business administration, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has issued clear instructions that annual informational visits to the Qatar Banking Studies and Business Administration Secondary School for Girls should be organized, in order to raise awareness and stimulate interest among ninth grade students and to encourage them to enrol in the specialized schools. With the support of the National Bank of Qatar and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, financial rewards are available to students who pursue specialized studies, in order to promote this type of specialization. The amount of the reward increases with each level, with a view to increasing enrolment in the specialized schools. It should be noted that there is not a significant disparity between the number of male and female students enrolled in this type of specialized school. Based on the plan in place, the number of students stands at 150, in accordance with clearly defined requirements and ratios, with a view to ensuring excellence in this type of school. The are 102 students enrolled in the girls’ school and 124 students in the boys’ school. Gender equality is a component of the acceptance policy for students in banking studies and business administration, and there is a school for each sex. However, the relative discrepancy in the number of females and males enrolled in these schools is due to the student’s desires and inclinations when it comes to choosing a field of study. Students in Qatar have other choices available to them, such as State schools, which offer educational pathways that provide students with a greater number of and more diverse options for completing university education. Several measures have been taken to encourage women to purse this type of education, including offering monthly financial allowances; conducting annual awareness-raising campaigns for female secondary school students, in order to familiarize them with this type of school and encourage them to pursue this type of education; and providing jobs for female graduates.

73.With regard to the question concerning measures taken to ensure that the children of migrant women have access to affordable high-quality education, the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the national education and training strategies stress that all children must be enrolled in education. Qatar strives assiduously to provide education for the children of all migrant workers. Those children are able to attend either government or private schools, in accordance with the wishes of their guardians. International schools, private national schools and schools for different communities have also been opened. In total, there are 359 such schools and 220 kindergartens. Non-Qataris make up 67 per cent of all students enrolled in education.

74.Population mobility is increasing every year in Qatar. As a result, more schools, whether public or private, are being opened every year, in order to address the need for education. The Ministry of Education and Higher Education strives to provide suitable educational opportunities for all students in Qatar, without discrimination. Following are some of the concessions that the Ministry offers to private schools:

(i)Waiver of electricity and water charges.

(ii)Customs clearance.

(iii)Awarding plots of land to schools that have obtained national, local or international accreditation.

(iv)The Ministry oversees every aspect of the registration of foreign students after the registration deadline. It expedites administrative procedures and provides them with counselling, in order to ensure that educational services are available to all.

(v)The Ministry coordinates and works with the Zakat Fund in order to support education for children from low-income families and make it easier for them to be educated.

(vi)Community schools are allowed to operate morning and evening shifts, in order to enable as many children as possible to pursue their education.


75.In practice, there is no requirement for the wife to present a letter from her guardian in order to obtain employment, because that would be unconstitutional. Moreover, no jobs have been affected by the prohibition on the employment of women in work that is hazardous or arduous. Men and women are remunerated equally, whether in the public or private sector, provided that they have equivalent experience and qualifications.


76.The are no so-called women migrant workers and bidoun women in Qatar. All women who are in Qatar have a residence or visit permit and are therefore covered by the law regulating medical treatment in the country, in particular article 4 thereof.

77.Under Act No. 11 (2018) regulating political asylum, the State guarantee migrant women the right of political asylum. Article 9 of that Act provides that political refugees are protected by the State and that they enjoy, without prejudice to their status as refugees, the following benefits and rights:

•The right to obtain a travel document, unless reasons related to national security or public order preclude that;

•The right to work, except in jobs relating to national security;

•The right to receive monthly financial assistance, until work becomes available;

•The right to health care;

•The right to education;

•The right to housing;

•The right to worship and perform religious ceremonies freely;

•Freedom of movement and travel;

•The right of recourse to the courts.

Political refugees may be authorized to bring their spouses and immediate family members. On the recommendation of the Minister, the Cabinet will establish conditions and controls in relation to the privileges and rights set out in the present article.

78.With regard to the question concerning sexual and reproductive health care, and abortion services in cases of rape, a specialized medical committee has been established to consider requests to carry out abortions for health reasons.

79.With regard to what steps have been taken to amend the legislation on abortion, we believe that the existing laws, under which abortions are carried out for medical reasons, are sufficient.

80.A study is being conducted on the policy of mandatory HIV/AIDS testing for pregnant women and migrant workers and the extent to which it can be applied, taking into account social conventions, traditions and customs.

81.The Ministry of Education and Higher Education strives assiduously to educate students and introduce them to the concept of sexual and reproductive health. A general framework has been established for a values-based curriculum that promotes those values that govern how individuals relate to themselves, others or society, and that takes into account the physical, mental, existential and spiritual aspects. Those values include respecting the family and others. Primary school activities include understanding the roles of various family members and the various stages of life. The family education curriculum is closely linked to other subject matters, in particular social studies and values-based education. The aim of that curriculum is to prepare students to be effective members of society and individuals, promote and encourage positive behaviour with respect to themselves, their families and others, and change negative attitudes and behaviours with respect to themselves, their families and others. Sexuality and sexual activity is one of the seven areas that make up the curriculum. Sex education is presented within a clear framework that is based on Islamic values, and particular emphasis is placed on the importance of awareness of the laws governing sexual behaviour and patterns of family life, such as marriage and parenthood. Students are taught about growth and development, human reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, and how to take responsibility for their actions and behaviour, and their safety and the safety of others. Sexual health concepts are also taught as part of the Islamic studies and science curriculum, starting at the sixth-grade level. The specialized agencies of the State contribute to this effort by addressing these subjects in the awareness-raising and educational presentations that the they make to students.

Women migrant domestic workers

82.Act No. 15 (2017) on domestic workers was adopted as part of the State’s commitment to ensure that all groups, including domestic workers, enjoy legal protection without discrimination. With the adoption of that law, those workers now enjoy legal protection. The aforementioned Act regulates the relationship between employers and domestic workers and its provisions accord with International Labour Organization Convention No. 189 concerning decent work for domestic workers. In addition, it prohibits the employment of domestic workers until they have obtained a permit to work in the country, and the employment of domestic workers of either sex who are under 21 or over 60 years of age.

83.Domestic workers must be employed for a paid probationary period, the duration and conditions of which are established by a decision of the relevant minister. In that connection, the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs has issued a decision establishing the duration of the probationary period for domestic workers and the conditions of employment that apply during that period.

Commitment to decent work for domestic workers

84.The law obliges employers and those who reside with them to provide domestic workers with suitable accommodations and food. It also obliges them to provide domestic workers with medical care, medications and medical equipment should they be taken ill or injured while doing or because of their work, without imposing any financial burden on workers. Employers are also required to treat domestic workers well and in a manner that safeguards their dignity and physical well-being, and they must not endanger workers’ lives or health, and they must not harm them, either physically or psychologically, in any way whatsoever. Employers must not make domestic workers work when they are on sick leave or taking their daily breaks or weekly rest days.

End-of-service compensation

85.The law provides that domestic workers are entitled to paid leave of three weeks, along with paid travel tickets, for each year of service according to the Gregorian calendar. The law also obliges employers to pay end-of-service compensation to domestic workers at the end of their employment, as well as any other amounts due to them. It stipulates that domestic workers’ end-of-service compensation shall be equal to three weeks wages for each year of service.

Termination of contract by the domestic worker

86.The law enables domestic workers to terminate their contracts early while retaining their entitlement to-end-of-service compensation in the following cases:

•Where the employer has failed to fulfil his obligations under the employment contract or the law;

•Where the employer or his representative have deceived the domestic worker regarding the conditions of employment;

•Where the employer or a member of his family assaults a domestic worker and causes the worker physical harm or places his/her life in danger;

•Where the employer or a person residing with him was aware of a grave danger that threatened the worker’s safety or health and failed to take action to eliminate that danger.

Dispute resolution

87.Disputes that arise between the employer and the domestic worker as a result of the application of the provisions of the law are subject to the provisions of the chapter on labour disputes of the Labour Code (law No. 14 of 2004), and its amendments, concerning recourse to labour dispute settlement committees. The law also stipulates that domestic workers must be compensated for injuries sustained at work, in accordance with the Labour Code. Under the law, both domestic workers and employers have the right to settle any dispute that arises through the competent department of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, which will take the measures needed to settle the dispute amicably.


88.The law prescribes a financial penalty of between 5,000 and 10,000 Qatari riyals, should its provisions be violated.

Model contract for domestic workers

89.Guided by the provisions of the Domestic Workers Act, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs drafted a model contract for domestic workers, which was distributed to employers, recruitment agencies and the embassies of the countries from which domestic workers hail. The Ministry has worked with the embassies of labour-sending countries to have the model contract translated into the native languages of workers.

Campaigns to raise awareness of the Domestic Workers Act

90.The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, has organized several seminars and activities to raise awareness on the new law and its provisions. The text of the law was sent to domestic workers and the model contract to the embassies of labour-sending countries.

Other forms of protection for domestic workers

91.Article 52 of the Constitution provides that “[e]very person who is a legal resident of the State of Qatar shall enjoy the protection of his person and property in accordance with the provisions of the law.” In addition, the security services provide legal protection in accordance with the provisions of the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. As indicated in the previous report (November 2016), domestic workers can file grievances through the justice and confidence-building programme that is run by the Department of Human Rights of the Ministry of the Interior. This group is also afforded protections under the Penal Code, which was promulgated as Act No. 11 of 2004. The Penal Code provides that anyone who physically abuses, treats in a cruel manner or economically exploits a vulnerable person shall be punished.

Abolition of the kafalah (sponsorship) system

92.Act No. 21 (2015) introduced important and fundamental changes to the previous legislation. That Act abolished the kafalah system and replaced it with a normal labour relationship Articles 21 and 22 of the Act set out the situations in which a migrant worker is permitted to change employment, namely:

•Prior to the expiration of the contract by mutual consent of the worker and the employer;

•Immediately following the expiration of a fixed-term contract or after five years’ employment, if the contract is indefinite;

•In the event of the death of the employer or the dissolution of the legal entity for any reason;

•On a temporary basis, in the event of judicial proceedings between the worker and his employer;

•Where abuse of the worker by the employer has been established or where allowing the worker to change employer is in the public interest.

Time spent working for the employer before the promulgation of the new law

93.Among the positive aspects of Act No. 21 (2005) is the fact that it takes into accounts all days worked by the worker for his employer prior to the entry into force of the Act on 13 December 2016. This was done in order to enable the worker to change employers.

Granting workers three months to secure a new employment contract

94.Under article 24 of Act No. 21, migrant workers have three months to complete procedures for a new contract and move to another employer.

Abolition of the requirement that a worker must remain outside the country for two years before being eligible for new employment

95.As the Committee of Legal Experts states in its report of February 2016, one of the positive aspects of Act No. 21 is the abolition of the requirement that a worker must remain outside the country for two years before being eligible for a new residence visa. Under the new law, a migrant worker whose residence visa was cancelled and had left Qatar may take up a new job in Qatar immediately upon obtaining a new job opportunity, without waiting for the two-year period to expire. That two-year period that was in effect under the Act No. 4 (2009) was abolished by the new law.

Requiring the employer to provide a bank security

96.Under article 20 of Act No. 21, an employer is required to provide a bank security in order to ensure that he fulfils his obligations to the migrant worker. This has significantly strengthened respect for the financial rights of migrant workers in Qatar.

Increased penalties for seizure of passports and identification cards

97.Article 8 of Act No. 21 obliges employers to return workers’ passports or travel documents following the completion of the procedures for obtaining or renewing their residence permits. Pursuant to article 39 of that Act, confiscating a migrant worker’s passport or travel document is a criminal offence. Any person who commits the offence of confiscating a worker’s passport or travel document shall be fined up to 25,000 riyals. That penalty represents an increase from the penalty prescribed in article 52 of Act No. 4 (2009), which had set out a maximum fine of 10,000 riyals.

Applicability of the provisions of Act No. 21 (2015) and its amendments to domestic workers

98.All the provisions of this law apply, without discrimination, to domestic workers, including those that relate to the right to change employers, freedom to leave the country and the prohibition on the confiscation of passports.

The requirement to conclude an employment contract between the worker and the employer before an entry visa is granted

99.Article 4 of the Act provides that an entry visa may not be granted to a foreign worker for the purposes of employment unless the worker has concluded an employment contract with his employer that has been approved and certified by the competent State authorities, in accordance with established terms and regulations. This contract protects the worker against certain forms of misconduct, including such practices as signing a contract in the labour-sending country that is then replaced by another upon the worker’s arrival in Qatar.

Assistance provided by the Government to facilitate change of employer

•The Government has lifted restrictions on changing employer, which had been imposed on migrant workers who had been granted work visas for specific projects. Such visas were known as restricted visas. Now, workers who have been given visas that are tied to a specific project have the right to change employer, if they fulfil certain conditions.

•The Government has placed no restrictions or conditions on changing employer other than that the new employer should comply with the provisions of the Labour Code.

•An office has been established to follow up and review procedures for migrant workers wishing to change employer.

Procedures for changing employer

100.Workers register themselves on the website of the Ministry of the Interior using their personal identification numbers. This enables them to have access to the electronic notification feature, which contains their personal information. The electronic notification feature is linked to databases maintained by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior. Workers select the reason for notification, whether change of employer or permanent departure from the country, and then they attach a certified copy of the employment contract along with evidence that the contractual relationship with the employer has been terminated by mutual consent or because of abuse on the part of the employer. In cases of abuse, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs will follow up on the request submitted by the worker.

101.The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs has launched an electronic notification service, which workers can use if they transfer from one employer to another or if they wish to leave the country permanently.

Awareness-raising campaign conducted by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs to inform migrant workers of their rights under the new law

102.The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs launched a campaign to raise awareness of the rights of migrant workers, either directly or through newspapers, television, and social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter). As part of the ongoing campaign to raise awareness of Act No. 21, the Ministry held a series of workshops that were aimed at informing foreign workers and employers about their rights and duties under the law.

Activities carried out by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs in the first phase of the awareness-raising campaign

•The Ministry, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, held weekly sessions (on Tuesday of every week) to raise awareness among officials responsible for applying the provisions of the law.

•The Ministry held awareness-raising seminars for members of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and employers before and after the entry into force of the law. It also held an informational session on the new law in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States to Qatar and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

•The Ministry held a meeting with labour attachés from the embassies of labour-sending countries and another meeting with representatives of the embassies of European Union member States to explain and clarify provisions of the new law.

•Specialists from the Ministry held workshops at workers’ places of employment and residence to raise awareness of the provisions of the new law. In addition, seminars on the subject were held for the various labour communities in the country.

Vulnerable groups of women

103.Under Act No. 2 (2007) on the housing system, no distinction is made between men and women, whether employed or not, with regard to right to benefit therefrom, in accordance with the controls established by law and the executive decisions issued in that regard, which were mentioned earlier. The Act provides that Qatari nationals, regardless of sex, have the right to benefit from the housing system. The Cabinet has issued decisions regarding the conditions governing access to housing for needy persons (free housing). This benefit was previously available to Qatari women, but they were only able to use it to build homes for themselves that are annexed to the home of their parents. Under the new law, Qatari women are entitled to an independent housing unit or a rental allowance. Women are eligible for the housing mortgage programme. Under that programme, Qatari nationals are granted a parcel of land at no cost and given a subsidized loan for construction.

104.The Housing Department of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs considers the requests that it receives on the basis of the relevant regulations and resolutions. The Department considers such requests by reviewing the documents submitted by the applicant and by looking into the circumstances of each case.

After the required funding has been secured, the law provides that priority should be given to persons who support others, married persons or those who are truly in need of housing.

105.The Housing Department considers and reviews requests for access to the housing system, verifies that the requisite data and documents have been provided and makes recommendations in respect of such requests for subsequent adoption.

•An unmarried man or woman can access the housing system if he or she meets one of the following conditions: (i) He or she is supporting either a parent or a sibling, or a person that he or she is obliged to support by law; is more than 35 years old; or a widow or divorced woman who is more than 35 years old and has no children; (ii) Neither he nor she, nor the persons that he or she supports, have suitable accommodations. Where there are multiple beneficiaries, they will all be accommodated in a single home if they are first- or second-degree relatives.

•Disabled persons, divorced women and widows who do not work and are eligible to access the housing system (needy persons) can change their application from housing for a needy person to housing funded by mortgage.

•However, they are required to have a relative who is a Qatari national to serve as the guarantor. The monthly payment is deducted from the salary of the relative.

•Housing for needy persons is provided free of charge and is owned by the State.

•Housing funded by mortgage belongs to the beneficiary. A deed made out in the beneficiary’s name will be drafted 15 years after the construction of the house.

106.The Housing Department disburses rental allowances to needy beneficiaries whose requests have been approved in accordance with the conditions set out in the Housing Act and the relevant executive decisions. Such allowances are disbursed until the Qatar Development Bank makes housing available.

When the Qatar Development Bank provides housing, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs leases the housing units and allocates them to beneficiaries. The Housing Department provides a monthly rental allowance to persons whose cases have been approved, from the time of approved and until the Bank has delivered the housing units.

107.The unjust blockade imposed on Qatar has affected the ability to enjoy human rights. However, we should like to emphasize that Qatar has taken no action against either the male or females nationals of blockading States who reside Qatar. The Constitution, domestic law and the measures that the State took before the Gulf crisis began are sufficient to maintain and safeguard human rights and ensure that the rights of women residing in Qatar who are originally from one the blockading States are respected, without discrimination.

108.The status of expatriate workers residing in Qatar has remained stable in the wake of the crisis, which has not had any adverse effects on their lives, constrained their movement and communication, threatened their security, personal freedom and freedom of expression, or undermined their right to live in dignity with their families. The aforementioned rights are guaranteed by the Constitution.

109.No complaints have been received about female workers who have not concluded legal contracts with their employers. However, should it come to light that there are female workers residing in the State who are performing work for their employers without having signed written employment contracts, those workers will not lose their legal and constitutional right to litigate and establish their rights by all legal means.

Equality before the law and in civil matters

110.With regard to the question on the need for women to obtain permission to travel outside the country or study abroad on a government scholarship, please note that the pertinent procedure is regulated by special instructions issued by the competent department of the Ministry of the Interior.