UN catches up with Qatar treatment of Nepali, sends investigator

Great news for Nepalis in Qatar, and hopefully, in future, for Nepalis across the Middle East. It’s about time that the international community fully woke up to the despicable practices in some states to – by law – treat Nepalis as sub-human.

While it took the reporting of the Guardian (and the World Cup) for the UN to see the issue and for Qatar to let the UN in, in the longterm this should be positive.

UN human rights expert to assess the situation of migrants in Qatar 

GENEVA / DOHA (30 October 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Qatar from 3 to 10 November 2013 to assess the human rights situation of migrants in the country.

“Due to significant immigration flows since the 1980’s, Qatar has the highest ratio of migrants to citizens in the world,” Mr. Crépeau said. “Quite uniquely, approximately 88 percent of the total population are foreign nationals in this destination State for migrants, who are employed mainly in construction, services and domestic work.”

This is the first mission to Qatar by an independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation of migrants around the world.

During his eight-day mission to the country, the human rights expert will meet with a range of government officials responsible for migration and labour, representatives of some of the major sending countries, international organizations, civil society, and migrants themselves, to discuss the situation of migrants living and working in Qatar. He will also visit a prison and a migrant detention centre.

At the end of the mission, the Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions at a press conference on 10 November at 12.00, at the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South West Asia and the Arab Region, 66 Lusail St. Villa 27, West Bay, Doha.

Mr. Crépeau will present a comprehensive report of the visit to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014.


François Crépeau (Canada) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council, for an initial period of three years. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Mr. Crépeau is also Full Professor at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, in Montréal, where he holds the Hans and Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law. Learn more, log on to: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/migration/rapporteur/index.htm

Check the 2012 Special Rapporteur’s statement to the UN General Assembly: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12714&LangID=E

Read the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CMW.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Qatar: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/QAIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:

Christel Mobech (+41 79 444 4332 / cmobech@ohchr.org)

In Doha: Farid Hamdan (+974 55854932 / fhamdan@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:

Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)


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